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

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Sat Sep 17 17:58:09 EDT 2016


Linguists have pointed out that adjectival order is not as fixed as Forsyth
makes it out to be, though there are strong preferences for ordering.

http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=27890
https://linguatical.wordpress.com/2016/09/04/about-those-absolute-adjective-orders/

And see these older posts by Neal Whitman and Katy Waldman:

https://literalminded.wordpress.com/2011/07/14/ordering-your-adjectives/
http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/the_good_word/2014/08/the_study_of_adjective_order_and_gsssacpm.html


On Sat, Sep 17, 2016 at 3:49 PM, 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
>
>

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