Monday, December 22, 2014

Mark Forsyth’s order of adjectives


Recipes for Killer One-Liners

By Henry Hitchings
...Yet I have to admit that, until reading Mark Forsyth’s “The Elements of Eloquence,” I had never paused to analyze with any precision the way in which we customarily sequence adjectives. Mr. Forsyth explains that, in English, adjectives follow the pattern opinion-size-age-shape-color-origin-material-purpose—“so you can have a lovely little old rectangular green French silver whittling knife. But if you mess with that word order in the slightest you’ll sound like a maniac.”

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