Extremely brilliant

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Teresa68, Sep 21, 2014.

  1. Teresa68

    Teresa68 Senior Member

    Barcelona
    Spanish (Spain) & Galician
    Hi, I was wondering: Can you say a person is "extremely brilliant" or does it sound a bit redundant, since brilliant already means extremely intelligent, skillful, etc?

    Thank you.
     
  2. Psychae Senior Member

    English - UK
    Hey,

    "Extremely brilliant" does sound a little odd to me, whereas I can imagine saying, for example, "exceptionally/incredibly brilliant". I'm not sure what the difference is though except maybe that "exceptionally/incredibly" are both stronger than "extremely"; someone else might have a better understanding of the exact reason though.
     
  3. Pauline Meryle

    Pauline Meryle Senior Member

    Central France
    English UK
    Psychae makes a good point. As "brilliant" is usually meant (and understood) to be as good as it gets, any intensifier is superfluous. You could just about get away with "exceptionally/incredibly" though.
     
  4. e2efour Senior Member

    England (aged 75)
    UK English
    The furthest I would go in describing someone is brilliant. There are very few brilliant people as it is, without distinguishing between them.
    Exceptionally brilliant I would call hyperbole, i.e. intentional exaggeration according to the dictionary definition.

    However, it has to be said that some people don't regard brilliant as enough. Such people are wont to make absolute adjectives into gradable ones, and write or say things like "very unique".
     
  5. Pauline Meryle

    Pauline Meryle Senior Member

    Central France
    English UK
    "Brilliant" is not an absolute. While we seem to agree that "exceptionally brilliant" is silly and unnecessary, it's not illogical on a par with "very unique".
     
  6. e2efour Senior Member

    England (aged 75)
    UK English
  7. Psychae Senior Member

    English - UK
    Interestingly, that linked site actually gives "exceptionally brilliant" as a valid example - they don't seem to consider it hyperbole.
     

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