Trying to find an official rule for stylistic concerns might very well result in a linguistic fit. In reference to your question on big, red, bulls Convention dictates that it be big, then red, but if red and big sounds best to you, run with it. You may get some criticism for sounding a bit like Yoda, however.
Or, I could say: However, you may get some criticism for sounding a bit like Yoda. I will now probably receive some criticism for my own usage. People will debate whether I should use a comma after the last item in a list. Some will spout off about my using a conjunction to start a sentence. I have probably ended a sentence with a preposition somewhere along the way. For as many manuals of convention and style that can be quoted, probably just as many arguing the other side of the issue can be found.
The bottom line is that language, both convention and usage is a wonderful, fluid, ever-changing thing. Adhere to the conventions within your discourse community for a sense of propriety. If you don't like them, find a new community. Bookserpent Apr This really has nothing to do with grammar per se. Both "big red bull" and "red big bull" are grammatically sound. The problem here exists at an aesthetic and stylistic level above grammar: "red big bull" just doesn't sound good. It's the faulty cadence and alliteration caused by two successive words which start with "b. JJMBallantyne Apr Another way to think about the optimal ordering of adjectives is to consider which one is fundamental.
That is, are you describing a red bull it is a big one or a big bull it happens to be a red one? Using this method, the most fundamental adjective would be placed closest to the noun. As JJM notes, this is not a matter of grammar. Rather, it is a matter of communicating as much information as possible as concisely and plainly as possible. RFW1 Apr That bit about " It's the faulty cadence and alliteration caused by two successive words which start with 'b' If it were true then "little blue bull" would be unusual which it's not and "blue little bull" would be the norm which it's not.
Except "little" shares more alliteration with "blue" and "bull" than "red" does with "big" and "bull. That's why both "little blue bull" and "blue little bull" work: they sound harmonic. A country and western lyric or children's song, perhaps?
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As far as the word order is concerned, I tend to agree with RWF. Go with the one that best describes what you are trying to say. I think my opinion is more along the lines of RWF: it seems to me that what comes first is what is the more important qualifier of the noun. Should this bull be raging towards me, I would probably care more that it was big than if it was red. Though, it would interest me very much to find out how and why the bull became red.
Should red be the more defining attribute of the bull then red would be first. Also - agreement on Subtle Knife's comma preference. Inserting the comma breaks things up and it is much more interesting and faster to say to have a "big red bull". I was actually wondering the opposite. I want to know why that isn't the correct answer and why no one here other than Whitney seems to acknowledge this common ordering system. The rest of the comments seem too based on opinion and ignore what little standardization we do have. My college Theme Error Rules say to separate two descriptive adjectives that describe the same noun with a comma.
Elizabet Apr There are no official language rules. There are only usage conventions. Placing "rules" in a reference book doesn't make them gospel. First of all, the phrase is sort of read backwards, in that the bullness comes first after all, everything else modifies it, so it has to come before everything else , then the redness, then the bigness.
Words by Earle C. Music by Richard A. Published by Jerome H. Composition of strophic with chorus with voice and piano instrumentation. First line reads "Daisy White drove a nice blue Limousine. The Lester S.
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Now I can see quite clearly that the big red car has | alakciolermi.cf