I remember a long time ago, in secondary school, I constructed the following sentence:
- My teacher is very fierce.
My teacher corrected me and said, it should be “strict” instead of “fierce“. Is that so? At that time, I accepted her explanation as she’s more learned than I was. Today, I believe there is a difference.
- strict (adj.) – limiting the freedom to do as you please or follow the rules exactly
- fierce (adj.) – violent & frightening
So, it’s perfectly alright to say:
Ms. Johnson is a strict teacher (because she wants us to follow the rules).
Ms. Johnson is a fierce teacher (because when she screams and slams the table with a cane, every one keeps quiet).
Of course, we like neither a strict nor a fierce teacher