[Ads-l] BBC Trend Blog: Adjectival word order

Benjamin Barrett mail.barretts at GMAIL.COM
Sat Sep 17 16:06:11 EDT 2016

FWIW, there are exceptions in science and finance where an adjective has become part of the noun, such as words like “fine particles”. 

Unfortunately, I don’t have any examples right now but I can try to note them when I run across them if they are of interest. BB

> On 17 Sep 2016, at 12:49, ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> Linguistics in the news.
> Website: BBC Trending Blog by Megha Mohan
> Article: Why the green great dragon can't exist
> Date:  September 6, 2016
> [Begin excerpt]
> . . . a tweet about the correct order in which to use adjectives.
> The tweet by Matthew Anderson, the editor of BBC Culture contained a
> screengrab from a 2013 book "The Elements of Eloquence: How to Turn
> the Perfect English Phrase", and has been retweeted many thousands of
> times.
> The order of adjectives, according to the book's author Mark Forsyth,
> has to be: opinion-size-age-shape-colour-origin-material-purpose.
> "If you mess with that word order in the slightest you'll sound like a
> maniac, he warns in the extract. "It's an odd thing that every English
> speaker uses that list, but almost none of us could write it out. And
> as size comes before colour, green great dragons can't exist."
> [End excerpt]
> Garson

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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