Thursday, October 6, 2005

Stupid Famous People

Alright, I am not writing about any particular stupid famous people here - I came across this phrase on the Internet, earlier today. And it got me mulling, as I have always done, whenever I come across interesting points in English grammar. As a rule, multiple adjectives (eg: big, red), when used to describe a noun (eg: dog), must be arranged in a fixed order:

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

That means, one must say "a big, red dog" and not a "red, big dog". (Cute Siamese kitten; large sleeping bag; creepy little spider; bla bla etc) However, if there one wants to use two adjectives of the same category (such as "stupid" and "famous") - how would the order be? Or would it be the same in either way?

Does "stupid famous people" mean exactly the same as "famous stupid people"? Seriously speaking, I have no idea - although they sound quite different to me. "Famous stupid people" seems to be describing people who are famous for their stupidity; and "stupid famous people" seems to be describing people, who are famous (for whatever reasons) who happen to be stupid also. Hardly convincing, huh?

We need Professor Blinking-Hell! :D

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