“I am allergic to those words. We have fallen into the culture of adjectives and adverbs, and we have forgotten the strength of nouns.” So proclaimed Pope Francis in a rant against descriptive words during a speech on Monday. (Sic)
In his peculiar linguistic pronouncement, the head of the Catholic Church went on to explain: “The communicator must make people understand the weight of the reality of nouns that reflect the reality of people.”
“And this is a mission of communication – to communicate with reality, without sweetening with adjectives or adverbs.”
Pope Francis denounced the sins of adjectives (and adverbs) during his address to the Vatican Dicastery for Communication, which he founded in 2015 to help modernize the church and make it hip to our age of digital and social media. The Dicastery manages the Pope’s Twitter account, which later preached to his 18 million fans and followers: “‘Let us learn to call people by their name, as the Lord does with us, and to give up using adjectives.”
And no: it’s not April 1. Although it sure feels like it.