Re: light as adjective (not)

Subject: Re: light as adjective (not)
From: Robert Bononno <bononno -at- ACF2 -dot- NYU -dot- EDU>
Date: Tue, 15 Feb 1994 00:24:30 -0500

On Mon, 14 Feb 1994, Randy Allen Harris wrote:

> >From Paul D. Marvel:

> >> In the term "light wave," light is an adjective because it qualifies what
> >> kind of wave you're talking about. There ae gravity waves (maybe),
> >> electro-magnetic waves, etc. Physicists use "light" to specify
> >> electro-magnetic radiation between certain wavelengths.
> >> Paul D. Marvel

> Which got this reply from Robert Bononno:

> >I'm not sure it's actually a modifier. You can't find this usage of
> >"light" in Webster's, for example. A "light wave" is a wave of light. I
> >do understand the basic physics involved and know that light is only a
> >small part of the em spectrum (located between UV and IR). I'm not sure,
> >however, that physicists only use the word "light" to refer to visible
> >light. (We use "dark light" to refer to parts of the UV spectrum.)

> "Light" in "light wave" is clearly a modifier, though it's not an
> adjective. Lots of nouns modify other nouns ("library hours", "school
> night", "user interface", etc.)

Why wouldn't it be an adjective in this case, since it modifies another noun?

Robert Bononno

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