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There is in the website http://www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/education/as/warsofindependence/index.shtml this sentence

"It was a time of heroes and villains, of battles and castles, intrigue and cunning."

I had checked that the word "intrigue" has no usage as an adjective, while "cunning" is an adjective. Then why the author does not use "intriguing" (or any other adjectives) instead? I mean, the pattern of the sentence is putting two "comparable" words together, for example "heroes" to "villains" and "battles" to "castles". So from any angle should "intrigue" not be replaced by "intriguing"?

Or is there any further consideration concerning usage so that "intrigue" is written down?

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Cunning here is a noun - see, for instance, Collins, 3:

3. craftiness, esp in deceiving; slyness

So the parallelism between noun (intrigue) and noun (cunning) is preserved.

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  • Ah Ha! Thank you so much, the dictionary I consulted does not list this adjective usage of "cunning". I think I should consider to discard it.
    – Megadeth
    Aug 1 '14 at 2:18
  • @Brian I recommend using a multi-dictionary search.
    – user230
    Aug 1 '14 at 23:12

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