[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.


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


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

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

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