Fall woods

Fall woods

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Who Knew??

Found recently in an article about the wonderful weirdness of the English language: the rules governing the order of multiple adjectives preceding a noun.  "The WHAT?" you say?  "There are rules for that?"  Yes, really.  And if you're a native English speaker, they doubtless come so naturally to you that you don't even think about them unless someone else messes them up.


Chart copied from here.

I bet this sentence sounds perfectly normal to you: "The beautiful, large, round, orange plastic pumpkin sat by the front steps."

I bet this one does not: "The plastic, large, orange, round, beautiful pumpkin sat by the front steps."

We talk about an "old blue metal" wheelbarrow, not a "blue metal old" wheelbarrow.  A "lovely young dark-haired girl," not a "dark-haired young lovely girl."  It's a "long, narrow, wooden" cane, not a "narrow, wooden, long" cane.
 
Then there's the "thin blue" line, and "Big Red" gum!  Even those follow the rules.  Who knew.  I'm so glad English is my first language...for this and many other reasons it must be absolutely infuriating to learn English as a secondary language.

  

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