3

If one were to describe a statement by referring to "black humour", how should he/she go about forming the adjectival form of the term?

"blackly humourous"

or

"black humourous"

  • The adjective form of black humor is black humor. Use a hyphen if you must. – RegDwigнt Mar 24 '12 at 0:40
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Blackly humorous is the form you want. (One job of an adverb ["blackly"] is to modify an adjective ["humorous"].)

Example from a book review: “A blackly humorous fantasy full of monsters, demons, and witches, there’s more than enough here to engage the reader looking for that, but beneath the surface The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart is a novel of surprising complexity.” —Realms of Fantasy

1

I've seen blackly humorous before (without the hyphen), so I'd plump with this. It still looks very unnatural, though.

Why don't you use sardonic as an adjective?

  • I agree that it's a very awkward construction, and that sardonic is an appropriate synonym, but I was just wondering how it would be formed, if possible. – bcc32 Mar 24 '12 at 0:38
  • Ah, I see. Hypothetically, then, blackly humorous is what you want. – hohner Mar 24 '12 at 0:45

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