The Order of Adjectives: Who Knew?

Here's a rule you know without knowing you know it: the order of adjectives placed before a noun.

The rule (and it's inviolable) is this:

Opinion, size, age, shape, color, origin, material, purpose

Of course, it's not often that we use 8 adjectives to describe something. It's just that we naturally put the adjectives we do use in the right order.

Dilapidated old brown Naugahyde chair makes sense and feels right.

Brown old Naugahyde dilapidated chair also makes sense (sort of), but doesn't feel right.

Same with this one:

Big old blue cotton smock

versus

Old cotton blue big smock

One more:

Gorgeous antique princess-cut diamond ring

versus

Princess-cut diamond antique gorgeous ring

Well, I'm off for a dip in my gym's sparkling huge new rectangular swimming pool.

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