One long-time copy editor uses the example of a McMansion to suggest adding the adjective “stately” cannot make something good:
Stately You cannot turn some monstrous McMansion’s farrago of discordant architectural elements into Blenheim Palace with an adjective.
This sentence has a lot to consider. First, the writer picks on the McMansion’s lack of architectural integrity. This is one of the key traits of a McMansion: the architectural elements do not go together or they are out of proportion or the quality of the home is not good.
Second, Blenheim Palace is a World Heritage Site. Even though it is really large – another defining feature of McMansions – it is has more architectural integrity being built in the English Baroque style. And it has the benefit of being old, unique, and recognized as important (in contrast to the mass-produced McMansions).
Third, the writer hints that the certain descriptors fit with certain kinds of homes. McMansions cannot be called stately. What would be more accurate descriptors? Garish? Vapid? Incoherent? Striving? The implication of any of these antonyms is that the McMansion is not worth paying attention to and will not last.
After such a description, one wonder what might redeem a McMansion.