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Intensifier: Wikis


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An intensifier (or adverb of degree) is a linguistic term for a modifier that has little or no meaning of its own and serves to enhance and give additional emotional context to the word that it modifies. Intensifiers roughly qualify a point on a gradable semantic property. Syntactically, intensifiers pre-modify either adjectives or adverbs. Semantically, they increase the emotional content of an expression. Use of an intensifier subtly suggests to the reader what emotion he should feel. By naming an emotion within the adverb, the writer compels the reader to consider this emotion and hence he begins to feel it. The basic intensifier is 'very'. It can be used with many verbs. Other intensifiers often have the same meaning as 'very'.



Persuasiveness, Credibility


In general, overuse of intensifiers negatively affects the persuasiveness or credibility of a legal argument.[1] But if a judge's authoritative written opinion uses a high rate of intensifiers, a lawyer's written appeal of that opinion that also uses a high rate of intensifiers is associated with an increase in favorable outcomes for such appeals. Also, when judges disagree with each other in writing, they tend to use more intensifiers.


  1. ^ Lance N. Long and William F. Christensen (Fall 2008). Using Intensifiers is Very Bad - Or is it?. Idaho Law Review.  

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