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Up close, the scene was more chaos, enchantingly so. (From ACT)

Why adverb enchantingly is used here when it is modifying the subject "the scene"? I think enchanting would be more preferable.

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    [...], enchanting so? No that's totally unidiomatic and ungrammatical. Also, enchantingly is modifying the chaos within the scene, not the scene itself. – Dhanishtha Ghosh Nov 3 '20 at 7:53
  • Don't get too hung up on the difference between (noun) chaos and (adjective) chaotic here. Many native speakers would consider both words equally suitable for the cited context, and they wouldn't care one way or the other what "part of speech" they supposedly represent . – FumbleFingers Nov 3 '20 at 14:03
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Overall, it does imply that the scene was enchanting - however, the adverb refers specifically to the chaotic nature the scene.

It could have instead said:

The scene was enchantingly chaotic.

So it was chaotic in an enchanting way.


There are other ways of expressing a similar idea, for example:

The scene was enchanting and chaotic.

Arguably though, these are now separate qualities - the scene was enchanting and was chaotic, perhaps for different reasons. Your original example does a great job of linking the two.

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