Dainty and small girls would love to be pale and delicate.

This sentence is from an article about "Looking Good".

When I look over dainty on online dictionary I find its synonyms are "small, delicate". I found other usages such as dainty small earrings, a dainty small cake.

I want to know "Why did the author use these synonyms together in a sentence?" Is it redundant adjective or emphasis adjective used instead of 'very'.

  • You should ask the author.
    – Mick
    Nov 11, 2016 at 15:17
  • 1
    Yeah, it's a bit redundant. Remember, anyone can write "good" English but still be a bad writer.
    – Andrew
    Nov 11, 2016 at 15:27
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    It is not really redundant. You can be dainty and tall, too. Dainty is delicate but it is not small necessarily. Also, dainty can apply to behavior. She ate her food daintily. Dainty applies to the way one holds oneself etc. It is not a term to describe SIZE. In fact, a large man can walk through a minefield in a dainty way. :)
    – Lambie
    Nov 11, 2016 at 16:50

1 Answer 1

  • small is an adjective used to describe size

  • delicate is an adjective used to describe how fragile something is

  • dainty is a form of "delicate" with a meaning of "pretty" and "cute"

For example, lace can be described as "dainty"

(source: oldandsold.com)

"To walk daintily" could mean "to walk carefully or gingerly" so as not to upset anything under foot (like a cat might do) or "to walk in a (certain) stylized feminine manner" (like how a bride might walk in a dress with a long train).

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