Thursday, January 17, 2008


Reading an interesting article about Chinese finance here which, on page 4, has this sentence: "The opaqueness about intentions and goals is always the issue."

Am I the only person who finds this common resort to adding -ness onto the end of a word clumsy and lazy? Why couldn't the word 'opacity' be used?

Here are some other examples where I don't think it works:

cohesiveness instead of cohesion
conciseness instead of concision
fierceness instead of ferocity
aggressiveness instead of aggression

and one where I think it's justifiable:
attractiveness rather than attraction (because attraction has a subtly different sense and could lead to confusion)

Is this just the difference between a UK-English ear and a US-English ear? I'd be interested to know.

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