The Super Secret Grammar Rule You’ve Been Practicing (And Didn’t Know You Knew)

Uncategorized Aug 26, 2020

Have you ever tried to learn another language? Maybe you’re onto your third or fourth. Once you hit a certain age, linguists say that acquiring additional languages is difficult.

As in no bueno.

Okay, if we’re honest, our first language can be hard, too. We struggle to imagine what it’s like for those who are learning English as a second language. If that’s you, bravo!

The BBC’s Matthew Anderson helped us remember this when he shared a little-known “rule.”

Ranked under things English speakers know, but don’t know we know. Anderson highlighted this doozy from The Elements of Eloquence: How to Turn the Perfect English Phrase:

Adjectives are required to be in the following order:

opinion-size-age-shape-colour-origin-material-purpose noun

In other words…

“You can have a lovely little old rectangular green French silver whittling knife. But if you mess with that order in the slightest you’ll sound like a maniac.”

Double-dog-dare you to try it.

A lot of writers discover rules like this and grow discouraged. If they discover a rule they didn’t know existed, could there be more? Why not just throw up your arms and quit?

Let’s be honest: Learning writing, publishing and social media can feel like learning a second language. Learning the rules—not just grammar, but the rules of the trade—feels like climbing an ever-growing mountain.

How do you determine your audience? What’s the secret sauce behind savory stories? Which tips will help you write sticky, memorable, and transformative prose?

Don’t worry. Write Brilliant is designed to help experience breakthrough in your writing and publishing.

What are you waiting for – you fabulous hugely gifted radiant glowing brilliant writer?

(See… you can remove a few of the adjectives as long as you keep the order and all reads well.)


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