Independent(ly) minded - Clarification

Discussion in 'English Only' started by James Brandon, Mar 21, 2010.

  1. James Brandon

    James Brandon Senior Member

    Greater London (UK)
    English + French - UK
    If someone has an independent mind, one can say he (or she) is independent-minded, or independently minded, or both?

    I have heard various combinations and would like to hear what contributors feel is the more common/correct form.

    Thanks
     
  2. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    London
    English - South-East England
    'Independent-minded' is a common type, what's known as a parasynthetic compound: the nominal 'independent mind' has been given the adjectival suffix '-ed' that means "having a . . ." It's like 'red-haired', 'long-bearded', 'tight-waisted', and many more.

    'Independently minded' is harder to explain, because it assumes 'minded' is an adjective (to get modified by an adverb). Well, it is, in the sense "intending" ('I am minded to write them a stern letter'), but I don't think it can be used as an independent adjective in the sense applicable here.

    Nevertheless, 'independently minded' seems perfectly good. But I can't think of any parallels to it, so I don't understand what justifies its existence.
     
  3. James Brandon

    James Brandon Senior Member

    Greater London (UK)
    English + French - UK
    I agree with your comments and explanations, particularly the grammatical aspect. Strictly speaking, I suppose that "minded", here, is a past participle (to mind=>minded) used as an adjective ( = adj.). An adj. would normally be qualified by an adverb, hence "independently minded" would seem to be the logical grammatical construct.

    But English also allows the formation of compound adjectives (1 adj. + 1 adj.), whereby adj. No1 qualifies adj. No2 (e.g.: "red-haired" = "who has hair that is red"). So, in this sense, "independent-minded" is fine and indeed, from what I can see, is more commonly used than the adverb + adj. form.
     
  4. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    EEUU-inglés
    Bloody-minded usage is all the justification it needs. :)
     
  5. James Brandon

    James Brandon Senior Member

    Greater London (UK)
    English + French - UK
    Yes, I would indeed go for that. :D
     

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