I often see this construction: "Who had spread such a horrible rumor?" Or "He told her a rumor so horrible, she gasped."

How about this construction: "Who had spread a rumor so horrible."?

Note: I could have written "Who had spread such a horrible rumor?" But I wanted horrible to go at the end of the sentence.


The common usage of this form is as part of a "so X that Y" construction, which may already be familiar to you:

Who would spread a rumor so horrible that it would force her to go into hiding?

This is also just a rewording of your first construction:

Who would spread so horrible a rumor that ...

However, it can be used by itself, although this still implies some unmentioned (or unmentionable) consequence. Because of this it can feel somewhat dramatic, even melodramatic:

"Who would spread a rumor so horrible!" the old duchess cried, throwing her arm across her face in distress.

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