The instructor of the poetry seminar I'm currently attending is of the opinion that adverbs and adjectives are overused and often reflect poor writing. She claims most adverbs are needed only due to the weakness of the chosen verb and most adjectives due to the inaccuracy of the noun. Choosing stronger verbs and more accurate nouns will eliminate many (most?) adverbs and adjectives.

My tendency is to agree but comments from this esteemed assembly will be greatly appreciated.

dg (domain=ccwebster)
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The instructor of the poetry seminar I'm currently attending is of the opinion that adverbs and adjectives are overused and ... many (most?) adverbs and adjectives. My tendency is to agree but comments from this esteemed assembly will be greatly appreciated.

Agreed. Other things to watch out for, according to my teachers: overly repeated "to the", "of a", etc.; forms of "be", especially forms of "there is" and the anticipatory "it is"; words such as "of course", "so", "however".
To paraphrase John Fredrick Nims, nouns are bones, verbs are muscle, and adjectives and adverbs are fat.
Of course, a man without visible fat would look scary or pitiful, and a woman without fat would look even worse. Sometimes the perfect modifier is... perfect.

Jerry Friedman
The instructor of the poetry seminar I'm currently attending is of the opinion that adverbs and adjectives are overused and ... to the inaccuracy of the noun. Choosing stronger verbs and more accurate nouns will eliminate many (most?) adverbs and adjectives.

If her "most" refers not to most adjectives and adverbs in the language but to most adjectives and adverbs found in random samples of writing, then I agree heartily. Too many are mere intensifiers.

Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Tompkins County, New York, USA http://oakroadsystems.com /
"And if you're afraid of butter, which many people are nowa- days, (long pause) you just put in cream." Julia Child
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The instructor of the poetry seminar I'm currently attending is of the opinion that adverbs and adjectives are overused and ... many (most?) adverbs and adjectives. My tendency is to agree but comments from this esteemed assembly will be greatly appreciated.

It's certainly among the general principles of sub-editing that adjectives are guilty until proved innocent, while adverbs are to be shot without trial. But it's only a general principle: this message would collapse without the suspects.
Shakespeare is the top gun, of course. At random...Sonnet 130, My Mistress' eyes are nothing like the Sun , has four adverbs ("nothing" once, "more" three times) and ten adjectives (six of them colours, with "red" and "white" repeated). 129, Th'expense of Spirit in a waste of shame , is crammed with adjectives, but the only adverbs there are "straight" and "well"; the adjectives, though, are the sense rather than mere amplification of nouns.
Mike.
The instructor of the poetry seminar I'm currently attending is ... but comments from this esteemed assembly will be greatly appreciated.

It's certainly among the general principles of sub-editing that adjectives are guilty until proved innocent, while adverbs are to be shot without trial. But it's only a general principle: this message would collapse without the suspects.

Arguably, you could have omitted "certainly" without major damage.
The instructor of the poetry seminar I'm currently attending is ... but comments from this esteemed assembly will be greatly appreciated.

It's certainly among the general principles of sub-editing that adjectives are guilty until proved innocent, while adverbs are to be ... Spirit in a waste of shame , is crammed with adjectives, but the only adverbs there are "straight" and "well";

And "well" is there only for the rhyme. "Straight" might not be necessary either.
the adjectives, though, are the sense rather than mere amplification of nouns.

Nonsense. It's clearly better to say
till action, lust
Is perjury, murder, blood, fullness of blame,
Savagery, extremity, rudeness, cruelty, unworthiness of trust.
Jerry Friedman
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It's certainly among the general principles of sub-editing that adjectives ... only a general principle: thismessage would collapse without the suspects.

Arguably, you could have omitted "certainly" without major damage.

Yes, I did think about it not long and hard, but at least I thought but I decided that it did make a slight contribution to what I wanted to say. I felt it made a pair with the "but" of the following sentence; perhaps it was even some form of courtesy to Don's instructor. Perhaps that's what can be wrong with adverbs: do they sometimes announce mood rather than conveying information? (Would Areff here interject "NTTAWWT"?)
Mike.
Shakespeare is the top gun, of course. At random...Sonnet 130, ... adjectives, but the only adverbs there are "straight" and "well";

And "well" is there only for the rhyme. "Straight" might not be necessary either.

Aren't you being a bit severe? The two "well"s are neat enough word-play; I imagine that "hell" was in his mind first, of course, so that far I'll go with you. As for "straight", it pairs perfectly with "no sooner".
the adjectives, though, are the sense rather than mere amplification of nouns.

Nonsense. It's clearly better to say till action, lust Is perjury, murder, blood, fullness of blame, Savagery, extremity, rudeness, cruelty, unworthiness of trust.

I don't fancy your metre much!
Mike.
be message

Arguably, you could have omitted "certainly" without major damage.

Yes, I did think about it not long and hard, but at least I thought but I decided ... what can be wrong with adverbs: do they sometimes announce mood rather than conveying information? (Would Areff here interject "NTTAWWT"?)

Oh, I was kidding, your sentence is fine as is.
I think people often use adverbs to shade the rhetorical strength of what they're saying, rather as an artist in pastels might use a piece of tissue paper. It's tempting to throw in "very," "probably," "supposedly," and, yes, "certainly" and "arguably," rather than to look at the important words in the sentence to see if they actually say what you want them to.
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