Not signed in (Sign In)
    • CommentTimeOct 26th 2009
    Bloodwulf, I always thought you were my guilty pleasure, but now it all feels justified! Thanks!
    • CommentTimeOct 26th 2009
    Well, technically, I believe that should be "the small, blue house" and "the blue, small house," which are both grammatically similar and equally imprecise. "Small" and "blue" are both adjectives and neither modifies the other; they both modify "house." So I'm pretty sure either works. If there are rules that do, in fact, state that "size" descriptors come before "color" descriptors in English, I guess it is one of the many failings of the public education system for not having taught me this esoteric rule, no?

    And what's the deal with the "roof" statements?

    I mean, pardon me for being the dullard here, but what's wrong with either of these two examples?
    • CommentAuthorFan
    • CommentTimeOct 26th 2009 edited
    > I guess it is one of the many failings of the public education system for not having taught me this esoteric rule, no?

    It's a rule that English-as-a-foreign-language students learn (see for example here and/or here), and that native speakers maybe pick up without having formally learned it. Maybe it's "usage" rather than "grammar", I don't know.

    > And what's the deal with the "roof" statements?

    Well, why doesn't it have to be the possessive: "look at the the church's roof"? I think that "church roof" has evolved to become a known 'noun adjunct'; whereas I don't think I've ever heard of "house roof" as a noun adjunct, so if I were writing it (trying to be correct) then I'd write, "look at the house's roof".

    I'm not sure about all this though; English is my mother tongue, but I wasn't taught it much at school. For example I just answered all the questions in this Adjective Order test "correctly" (i.e. as they expected) but I still haven't learned the rule; I know that the rule exists now, but I still don't know what the rule is, haven't memorized or analyzed the rule; I only know which order 'sounds right' when I try any specific example.
    • CommentTimeOct 29th 2009 edited
    I have, honest to god, never heard of that. But, considering the test you linked to appears to be for a 400-level university class, I'm not shocked that I never learned that one. And really, I've probably forgotten every bit of "proper" grammar I actually learned. Which probably accounts for my ridiculous run-on sentence fragment writing style.

    As far as the roof thing is concerned, you're probably right on the adjunct thing. The reason you've never heard "house roof" may be context. That is, an adjunct is something that can, by definition, be removed without changing the meaning/grammar of the sentence in question. The number of times that a roof gets discussed in a conversation without being explicitly defined earlier through context are probably few. So... who knows, there. You're probably onto something, regardless.

    Thanks for the info. I won't actually go the extra mile to memorize order, though, because I'm more of a "sounds right" writer/speaker. It's still nice to know that English is even more stupid than I thought it was earlier today. :-)