1. jakeybum

    jakeybum Active Member

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    Two or more phrasal adjectives modifying one noun

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by jakeybum, Jun 25, 2017.

    The following are examples from Bryan Garner's Modern American Usage Style Manual. In the phrasal-adjectives section, he doesn't explain why the first example below is separated by a comma and why the remaining examples are not. Does anybody know why this is? Please, no recasts, as I am trying to understand this.

    Why a comma here?
    •blue-blood, country-club Republicans

    But no commas here? Wouldn't a comma after approved, latency, old, day, and monitored aid readability in these—yes or no? Would you include those commas below?
    •county-approved billboard-siting restriction
    •long-latency occupational-disease cases
    •13-year-old court-ordered busing plan
    •24-hour-a-day doctor-supervised care
    •24-hour-a-day in-house-monitored doctor-supervised care

    Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2017
  2. NobodySpecial

    NobodySpecial Contributor Contributor

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    Your last four examples are not lists. The first line: 'blue blood, country club republicans' contains two separate adjectives in a list form. Your other examples are compound adjectives. I could be wrong, but I don't think the dash belongs in any of those examples either.
     
  3. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll I am the reason for safety briefs. :P Supporter Contributor

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    Where cushions are comfy, and straps hold firm.
    Blue blooded republican.

    The comma has vanished. Perhaps exiled to another dimension.

    To be honest, you could just add in the Country Club patronage
    as a secondary sentence.

    (FYI, nobody likes a snobby character. They come off a bit pretentious.) LP
     
  4. jakeybum

    jakeybum Active Member

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    The Gregg Reference Manual says that when a compound modifier consists of two or more hyphenated phrases, separate the phrases with a comma.

    Thus, according solely to Gregg, if we apply that principle, all of the examples below are punctuated correctly with the commas; right?

    •the fast-growing, free-range poultry
    •a two-and-a-half-hour, on-campus tour
    •blue-blood, country-club Republicans

    •a county-approved, billboard-siting restriction
    •several long-latency, occupational-disease cases
    •the 13-year-old, court-ordered busing plan
    •24-hour-a-day, doctor-supervised care
    •24-hour-a-day, in-house-monitored, doctor-supervised care

    Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2017
  5. NobodySpecial

    NobodySpecial Contributor Contributor

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    With the line 'the fast growing, free range poultry' there's a compound adjective augmenting a compound noun. I read it as 'fast growing' describing 'free range poultry', similar with the others. If you break up 'free range poultry' into adjective, and noun you'd have your list back; the fast growing, free range, poultry'. I'm not sure what that would do for the integrity of your sentence, though. Keep in mind I'm no expert.
     

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