comma btw adjective and participle: the screaming, white-haired man's

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Rabelaisian, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. Rabelaisian Senior Member

    Toronto, Canada
    English - Canadian
    Adjective commas really drive me nuts sometimes. For example:

    He held it over the screaming, white-haired man's left-hand palm.

    Should I keep that comma or lose it?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Cenzontle

    Cenzontle Senior Member

    English, U.S.
    I read the comma as somehow equivalent to "and".
    If you had several white-haired men and wanted to specify the screaming one, you would leave the comma out.
     
  3. Rabelaisian Senior Member

    Toronto, Canada
    English - Canadian
    It's one man, so I guess I'll remove it, then.

    Thanks.
     
  4. lucas-sp Senior Member

    English - Californian
    This would be: "There were seven white-haired men in the room. He walked over to the dyspeptic white-haired man and asked who the richest, most famous white-haired man there was. Meanwhile, the screaming white-haired man..."

    Here, "white-haired man" doesn't seem to be motivated as a unit. So "white-haired" is modifying "man" along with "screaming," and there should be a comma between them.
     
  5. Cenzontle

    Cenzontle Senior Member

    English, U.S.
    I was hoping you would say "It's one man, so I guess I'll keep the comma.":)
     
  6. Rabelaisian Senior Member

    Toronto, Canada
    English - Canadian
    Oh, right, sorry. If it were several men, I'd leave it OUT. Got it.

    Thanks.
     

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