The Case For Adjectives: Fighting Clichés And Saving Nouns

Carly Simon’s "You’re so Vain" paints the scene of a narcissist walking into a party with an "apricot" scarf. How many times have you wanted to say broken heart in a song you are writing? Maybe your heart is broken, or you want to say someone’s smile is beautiful or that you feel it in your soul.  Then, you have noun shame.  You wouldn’t dare let those over used words drip out of your lofty pen.  These are every day nouns you feel comfortable hanging out with at home on the couch, but would never been seen out with in public because “deep in your soul”, at the bottom of your “broken heart”, you know you’re better than the banal list of the most often used words and the typical context they come in: SmileHeartSoulEyesHairBody But what do you do when you’re out of body parts to confess your love or pain or to describe the person you love? These words have been overused for a reason. Remember the cliché “you are the company you keep”?  Surround your noun with the cool crowd, and change it’s perception.  Remember when Ashton Kutcher married Demi Moore?  Use these words, they are words…

To view this content,

Join Today

or Sign In

The Benefits of Membership:

  • Subscription to the American Songwriter Print Magazine
  • Access to all Feature Magazine Content Online
  • Access to Print Edition Archives
  • Premium content in our Songwriter U section
  • Discounts on vinyl, Songwriter services, and other American Songwriter Partners
  • Exclusive access to members-only contests and giveaways
Click to Join

We've started an American Songwriter membership! Click here to learn more.