Some Things I Learned Today

1. There’s an officially correct order for cumulative adjectives.  It goes like this:

  • article or other noun marker
  • evaluative word
  • size
  • length or shape
  • age
  • color
  • nationality
  • religion
  • material
  • noun/adjective
  • the noun being modified

So, you could say: the hideous enormous triangular ancient blue Persian Buddhist granite house boat, but you could not say: the Persian ancient enormous house granite hideous triangular Buddhist blue boat.  Don’t make that mistake!

2. The words Ping Pong, Loafer, and Realtor are all registered trademarks.  To avoid any conflict, you must use table tennis, casual shoe, and real estate agent instead.

3. If you take a plastic tub of homemade tomato sauce out of the freezer because you want to make eggplant parmesan for dinner later, and you drop it, the frozen and therefore brittle lid will break and shoot sharp plastic shards (not to be confused with plastic sharp shards) all over your kitchen. 

Now you know.

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21 thoughts on “Some Things I Learned Today

  1. Ok, what did I do while raising you to make you so completely obsessed with rules of grammar?  I’m seriously considering an intervention. Maybe there are some Xangans who would be happy to take part. Probably all of them. This must stop!!

  2. Who would build a house boat out of granite?  Other registered trademarks:  Kleenex, Xerox.  Around these parts we don’t even use “tennis shoes” anymore.  Now it’s “gross motor shoes” for the under 10s, and “athletic shoes” for the over 10s, regardless of athleticism.

  3. Editor School will probably get you a big promotion in the Language Police Dept but I’d soon go to the stupid big square 50 year old American Jewish brick dumpy Language Jail than try to follow all this. 

  4. I have a picture posted here somewhere of my revenge on an idiotically-designed plastic jewish (we have to include religion?) ice-cream packaging-nightmare.But seriously, I totally ate up your delightful revelation that there are, in fact, norms for adjective-order. I can feel them, and don’t usually err, but it’s nice to know there is backing in court. And from all-too-rare Persian Budhists at that

  5. You know what’s funny? I didn’t know that but somehow the way I’ve learned English makes the right way just sound right and the other way sounds just plain awkward.Strange the things that seep in accidentally.

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