Friday, April 24, 2009

Shared Modifiers

‘T.K. Sabapathy is one of the most respected and regarded art historians in Southeast Asia,’ says a poster advertising a talk. Note that respected and regarded share a modifier, most.

Most respected is all right: I can respect a person a little, a lot, the least, or the most.

Regarded, however, needs more than just that: we can’t say a person is regarded a lot or a little; rather, we have to say she/he is highly regarded, etc.

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