outrageous, lawless

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fredisaking

Senior Member
1. Mandarin Chinese 2. Taiwanese
Can I use outrageous and lawless to describe people? As in:

These outrageous gangsters will not walk away with it.
He was so lawless last night hacking people with a chainsaw.
 
  • envie de voyager

    Senior Member
    english-canadian
    Outrageous sounds good here, but lawless doesn't quite sound right. I think lawless would sound better describing a group, like this:

    The ten policemen in the area were not enough to control the lawless mob.
     

    Franzi

    Senior Member
    (San Francisco) English
    These outrageous gangsters will not walk away with it.
    He was so lawless last night hacking people with a chainsaw.
    The word 'outrageous' is making me think of gangsters in hot pink suits or something. Can you explain more about what you're trying to say?
     

    Franzi

    Senior Member
    (San Francisco) English
    Like bikers with shotguns shooting everyone riding down the enemy's hood.
    Who is speaking/writing? Word choice depends a lot on the author and the target audience? (In other words, what is the exact context you want to use this sentence in?)

    To me, 'gangsters' are mafia members, especially old fashioned ones in some crime drama set a long time ago. Biker gangs aren't gangsters. I also don't associate bikers with the word 'hood'.

    I wouldn't use 'outrageous' for this type of meaning. I might say 'shocking' or 'horrible' or something, but it would really depend on the rest of the sentence.

    I'm not sure what you meant by "will not walk away with it". If you're threatening to stop them or saying that the police will stop them, you could say they're not going to get away with it.
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Can I use outrageous and lawless to describe people? As in:

    These outrageous gangsters will not walk away with it.
    He was so lawless last night hacking people with a chainsaw.
    Both of these sentences sound awkward and beyond repair to me.

    Gangsters are outrageous by nature as well as lawless by definition adding the "outrageous" here is odd in the extreme.

    Unless there's some question about the legality of cutting people up with a chainsaw, why state the obvious?

    Moreover, I wouldn't hack (chop) people with a chain saw. I'd start it and use it for cutting as intended.
     
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