Posted: 14 Jan 2014 08:16 PM PST
Abstract nouns may be formed from adjectives by adding the suffix -ness: happy/ happiness, sad/sadness, kind/kindness, cheerful/cheerfulness.
However, a large group of adjectives have distinct nouns that do not require a formation with -ness or any other suffix. A common stylistic fault is to add the -ness ending to adjectives that already have corresponding noun forms. For example, the adjective humble has the corresponding noun humility, but many English speakers don’t seem to be aware of it and write “humbleness” instead.
Here are a few examples from the web that illustrate the unnecessary use of –ness to form abstract nouns:
Here are several additional adjective/abstract noun pairs that seem to have escaped the notice of many journalists and bloggers: