“Adequate” is Adequate

By Maeve Maddox

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From a reader:

let me ask if the following usage is correct: ‘The food is adequate enough’.

Like unique, the adjective adequate says it all.

adequate: equal to, or fully sufficient for a specified or implied requirement; often: narrowly or barely sufficient

The addition of “enough” in the following examples is redundant:

If you work at it, you can do an adequate-enough job.

There are no words that seem adequate enough to describe the thanks and appreciation

The Allen test is not adequate enough for the screening of hand circulation

I don’t think she did too well on saying I love America. That wasn’t adequate enough …

The unnecessary “enough” seems to be especially common in questions:

Are most good freeride bikes adequate enough to race downhill

Are there any words adequate enough to describe peace…?

Photoshop adequate enough for Screen-Print Designs?

Is PC gaming desirably adequate enough to give up on console

When apologizing is saying “my bad” adequate enough?

If something is adequate, that’s all there is to say:

Now is the time to make an adequate income a reality for all of God’s children…

Do tinfoil helmets provide adequate protection against mind control rays?

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3 Responses to ““Adequate” is Adequate”

  • Cecily

    For anyone who finds it tricky, “adequate” means “good enough”, hence you don’t need the extra “enough”.

  • Linda Wolff

    hang out with teenagers lately? i’m so tired of hearing “no worries” instead of “no problem” or “i’m good”, instead of “no thank you, i’ve had enough” in our daily exchanges. it’s like nails on a chalk board.

  • Cecily

    @Linda: That’s better than a stereotypical a teenage grunt or, worse still, just ignoring you altogether.

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