robinturner: Giving a tutorial, c. 2000 (tutorial)
Today I received another hard-to-parse spam header. It started “Bisexual nude man ...” and I won’t print the rest since this is a public post; suffice it to say that it consisted of the predicate of which “bisexual nude man” was the subject. Now this is not a case of ambiguity like the “huge enlargement patches sale” mentioned earlier. Rather, it relates to the tricky question of adjective order. “Bisexual nude man” simply seems wrong: it should be “nude bisexual man”, or even “nude, bisexual man”. Helpful sites for people learning English give the standard order of adjectives as opinion, size, age, shape, colour, nationality, material, purpose, but there is nothing there for sexuality or state of (un)dress. We could, however, test this by inserting adjectives from this list. For example, let’s take a colour. Would we say “green, nude, bisexual man,” “nude, green, bisexual man,” or “nude, bisexual, green man”? And is it “bisexual Singaporean man” or “Singaporean bisexual man”?

Well, there's something for you to think about if you can’t get to sleep tonight.

Profile

robinturner: (Default)
Robin Turner

June 2014

M T W T F S S
      1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
232425 26272829
30      

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Page Summary

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags