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He is man enough to work there.

I think the sentence is correct. What if we substitute man for word?

It is word enough for me.

It is word enough to merit research.

Are the two sentences with WORD correct?

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  • We would only say "word enough" in extremely unusual contexts. What are you trying to say? Jan 29, 2022 at 4:37
  • It is word enough to merit research. I mean that this is a word worth doing research on.
    – Franky
    Jan 29, 2022 at 6:01
  • If by word you mean a verbal expression, it would more likely be said "It's enough of a word..." Even then, it's an odd thing to say about a word. If by word, you mean information or a report, it would still be a strange expession. Jan 29, 2022 at 9:54
  • If by word I mean a word?
    – Franky
    Jan 29, 2022 at 10:04
  • 1
    ... I think the answer is no: you can't use it like that. "Man enough" is almost unvarying enough to be called a set phrase. We often say "<adjective> enough" or "<adverb> enough", but there are few examples of "<noun> enough." We say "Room enough", "space enough" "time enough" and "life enough" - all abstract nouns -, but not, for example, "woman/horse/house enough." Even "We had seas/fields/woods enough" would be unusual. Jan 29, 2022 at 11:23

1 Answer 1

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This really doesn't work at all.

You might (rarely) use "man enough" because there are (perceived) degrees of manliness. Since men are (supposed) to be strong and tough, the phrase "He is man enough to ..." means "He is strong and tough enough". There's no problem with this second expression, because "strong" and "tough" are adjectives and have degrees (strong - stronger - very strong etc).

But there is no metaphorical notion of degrees of wordness. The word "cat" is a word. The word "inexpensive" is a word. But neither one is "more word" than the other! And even if you decide that "cat" has more wordness than "inexpensive", that is not a reason to do research on it.

You do research on a word, not because it is "very word", but because it is very interesting.

It is an interesting enough word to merit research.

I can think of some very strained cases: "the possessive clitic "'s" is not considered a proper word by some people, but it is word enough for me!" Here there is a deliberate jocular use of the expression. It's not a good example of natural English.

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