comma btw adjective and noun: a tiring, seemingly endless, routine

Discussion in 'English Only' started by 8769, Sep 8, 2007.

  1. 8769 Senior Member

    Japanese and Japan
    A sentence below is part of what I transcribed, listening to a radio program. The blank below is where I got stuck. The commentator, an educated American woman, is talking about the word “rat race.”

    Which, #1 or #2 below, do you think is more appropriate, when written down?
    1. endless
    2. endless,
    The "rat race" refers to a tiring, seemingly ( ) routine in an often competitive, busy environment.
    I chose #1, but I’m not sure if it is correct.
     
  2. panjandrum

    panjandrum <<PongoMod>> EO'Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    It has to be #2 for me.
    "seemingly endless" is an aside, an explanation, a parenthetical comment.
    It is not essential to the sentence and could be omitted.
    It needs bracketing commas - one on either side.
     
  3. nzseries1

    nzseries1 Senior Member

    London
    New Zealand - English
    #1 is correct here.
    #2 is definitely incorrect.

    EDIT:
    After seeing panjandrum's comments, I think he has a point. But still, #2 I think sounds awkward when said aloud.
     
  4. panjandrum

    panjandrum <<PongoMod>> EO'Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Alternatively ...
    It has to be #1 for me.
    "seemingly endless" is a compound adjective.
    A sequence of modifiers uses listing commas.
    As the final adjective in that sequence it has a comma before, but not after.

    Edit: Apologies, nzseries. I had hoped I would be contradicting myself immediately :)
     
  5. nzseries1

    nzseries1 Senior Member

    London
    New Zealand - English
    That was my reasoning as well. I don't think it is an aside, or an unrelated idea. I think it has to be #1.
     
  6. AngelEyes

    AngelEyes Senior Member

    English - United States

    I pick this structure because I think that seemingly is an adverb that modifies the second adjective, endless, in the sentence.

    You could use seemingly with busy and have the same situation.

    AngelEyes
     

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