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To me, it seems like the word "blatantly" in front of obvious is redundant, but I know this is commonly used. What type of word is "blatantly" as used in this phrase? It doesn't seem to be an adjective or adverb to me since obvious doesn't seem to be a noun or a verb. I was recently told it was an adverb. Can someone please help me understand this?

Thanks in advance!

  • Welcome to ELU. This site strives to provide well researched, intriguing questions. Take the site tour or have a look at the help center to find out more about good questions. What does your research show? Beyond what it seems to you? – Helmar Aug 31 '16 at 13:50
  • Obvious is an adjective, and an adverb can modify an adjective, as in this case. As for the superfluous redundancy, that just seems to be a tritely overused habit of us Americans in the U.S. – cobaltduck Aug 31 '16 at 13:50
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    It's an adverb modifying the adjective "obvious." It serves to intensify the level or degree of obviousness, in the same way "very" serves to intensify "unique," although strictly speaking, neither blatantly nor very are needed. However, I think blatantly is less incorrect, so to speak, than very, especially before unique. – rhetorician Aug 31 '16 at 13:51
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    What's wrong with being redundant? Most language (over 90% by actual measurement) is redundant. Redundancy is a design feature, not a bug. Redundancy allows listeners to understand what people are saying even when the speakers don't know how to say it well. – John Lawler Aug 31 '16 at 14:18
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    "Blatantly" is an adverb that adds meaning to the adjective it modifies, in this case "obvious". "Blatantly" and "obvious" do not have the same meaning in all contexts, so it's not clear to me why the asker or anyone else would call this use redundant. – R Mac Aug 31 '16 at 16:36
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An adverb can modify an adjective, verb, or another adverb.

The meaning becomes clear when you take the two words and use them in a sentence.

It's blatantly obvious my dear, that you are smashed. Here, give me that other shoe. Now, let's get you to bed.

In the sentence obvious, as a predicate adjective after the linking verb is describes it [the fact she was intoxicated] as an adjective to mean it was easy for him to see and understand what her condition was. It's modified by the adverb blatantly to show "To what extent was she drunk?" "Drunk enough so that she could hardly stand or sit to take off her shoes, much less make it to the bedroom on her own."

  • Like your answer but might have interchanged he and she, him and her. :-) – Richard Kayser Oct 1 '16 at 5:44

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