Nouns give an essay substance, and verbs give it motion. Adjectives transform it from black and white into color.

Consider Carol Rosenberg’s comments on the rules at the US detention center at Guantanamo Bay. Like Ansel Adams, she works with black and white, giving us a picture of the administration of justice, such as it is, at Gitmo. Even if she doesn’t use adjectives, they come through on their own. Words like “silly” and “vengeful” and “clueless.”

Holder and Gates give the US a black eye with the way Gitmo represents our system of justice to the world. Rosenberg, on the other hand, does the constitution proud.