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Quirk(s of English)

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1297408.  Wed Oct 03, 2018 4:03 am Reply with quote

Native english users have a largely unspoken, yet widely conserved naming convention when it comes to adjectives. We order things by:
Determiner: His, your/our
Observation or Opinion: Ugly, cute, soft
Size: Big, small
Shape: Square, round
Age: Old, new
Colour: Green, black
Origin: British, South African
Material: Wooden, plastic
And finally, Qualifier, a noun: House, cat

So it'll be 'his cute, small, old, blue house' and not 'blue, small, cute, old house'


DVD Smith
1297410.  Wed Oct 03, 2018 4:26 am Reply with quote

I love this rule, and I love how native English speakers can follow it subconsciously without realising they're doing it. Same with vowel order - "Big Bad Wolf" sounds right but "Bad Big Wolf" sounds wrong, and we don't really know why.

Think this article was the first place I saw it:

Also some great examples in this article (like how you can't say "My Greek Fat Big Wedding").

1297613.  Thu Oct 04, 2018 11:29 am Reply with quote

I sometimes play on this at work. We might get a report if a black people carrier being broken down, or a yellow builder's bag being blown around in the road.


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