Green great dragons can’t exist
Posted by jpluimers on 2016/09/30
- Green great dragons can’t exist – Kristian Köhntopp – Google+
- Gail Carriger – writingdino – I literally read it automatically as “great green dragons” without noticing
- Matthew Anderson on Twitter: “Things native English speakers know, but don’t know we know”
OCR-ed by https://www.newocr.com/:
adjectives in English absolutely have to be in this order: opinion-size-age-shape-colour-origin-material-purpose Noun. 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. It’s an odd thing that every English speaker uses that list, but almost none of us could write it out. And as size comes before colour, green great dragons can’t exist.
Then I found some more references:
- The adjective word order we all follow without realizing it
- How non-English speakers are taught this crazy English grammar rule you know but you’ve never heard of — Quartz
- BBC – Culture – The language rules we know – but don’t know we know
The indicated this went viral earlier this month and all pointed the actual source: Icon Books » The Elements of Eloquence subtitled “How to Turn the Perfect English Phrase” by Mark Forsyth.
My mother language Dutch probably has a similar rule that I never knew but just unconsciously use.