comma with adjective: new, compact digital streaming audio player

Discussion in 'English Only' started by EnglishABC, Jun 16, 2010.

  1. EnglishABC Senior Member

    NZ English
    UnitiQute is Naim's new, compact digital streaming all-in-one high-end audio player.

    Shouldn't the above have the the following commas?

    UnitiQute is Naim's new, compact, digital, streaming, all-in-one, high-end, audio player.


    I was recently told that commas joining adjectives are not essential if there is no ambiguity without them. Is this why they have been left out? If so, why did the writer choose to use the one comma after 'new,' do you think? :confused:

    Thanks.
     
  2. iskndarbey Senior Member

    Lima, Perú
    US, English
    It reads better with the commas (but you need to take out the one after 'high-end').
     
  3. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    American English
    UnitiQute is Naim's new, high-end, all-in-one compact digital streaming audio player. As far as I can tell -- reading it like a consumer -- the bold part is the basic name of the player and you don't need a comma after the nearest adjective describing it: all-in-one.
     
  4. brian

    brian Senior Member

    Montréal
    AmE (New Orleans)
    It all depends. Commas mean that the adjectives around the commas are particular to this device alone; the adjectives not around the commas are general and not particular to the device. So...

    UnitiQute is Naim's new, compact digital streaming all-in-one high-end audio player.

    This implies that the UnitiQute is a "digital streaming all-in-one high-end audio player" that is also both new and compact. In other words, there are other digital streaming all-in-one high-end audio players on the market, but the UnitiQute is NEW and COMPACT -- the primary implication, to me at least, being that the others are not compact.

    If you remove the comma...

    UnitiQute is Naim's new compact digital streaming all-in-one high-end audio player.

    ...then "compact" is no longer particular to the UnitiQute, and the implication is that there are other digital streaming all-in-one high-end audio players which are also compact.
     
  5. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    American English
    Which reminds me... what do you, EnglishABC, consider the basic name of the product?
     
  6. EnglishABC Senior Member

    NZ English
    Hello :)

    Really? This is new to me. My understanding was that commas are used for coordinate adjectives (those that could have 'and' between them) and cumulative adjectives (those they describe each other). I also think that some of these cumulative adjective, though I'm not sure how this works, can be separated by hyphens:

    A short, chinese girl (coordinate)
    Several new students (cumulative)
    Light-blue uniform (cumulative)

    So is your explanation another way to decide about punctuation?
    Can anyone help shed some light on this for me, please?
     
  7. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    Yes, I think that's the general convertion. This website uses slightly different terms (co-ordinate and hierarchical) but says the same thing:
    By the way, I wouldn't normally see "short" and Chinese" in a short Chinese girl as co-ordinate: I wouldn't say "a short and Chinese girl"....;)

    ^PS: I would question whether December is an adjective, but it really doesn't matter.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2010
  8. EnglishABC Senior Member

    NZ English
    Typo I have corrected in bold:


    So Loob, since we agree about when we require commas, what do you have to say about brian's understanding?

    Also when should we use hyphens to separate adjectives instead of commas?

    What about adjectives that are restrictive or non-restrictive? Does this play a part?


    I now realise how little I know about this!
     
  9. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    American English
    It will be easier to answer your question if you answer the one I asked in message 5: What do you consider the basic name of the product?
     
  10. EnglishABC Senior Member

    NZ English
    Truly sorry, Copyright. I missed that. Um, I don't know. I copied the sentence without taking notice of the product unfortunately.
     
  11. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    American English
    No problem... I regularly miss things, as well. Too much speed, too little comprehension. :)

    Ok, I did a little searching and found this general description:
    The UnitiQute is Naim’s first compact all-in-one audio player and offers: a 45W integrated amplifier based on the Nait 5i, digital streaming, multi-format radio (FM/DAB/Internet) and iPod/MP3 & USB playback. That means lower power output than the full size Uniti and no CD player. In short, its cheaper and smaller. A key aspect of UnitiQute is its digital audio streaming capabilities.

    So, it's new, it's more compact than the company's full-size machine, it's an all-in-one audio player, and it streams digital audio.

    Back to your original description that I guess you found somewhere:
    UnitiQute is Naim's new, compact digital streaming all-in-one high-end audio player.

    Your first question might be: Do we have to have all the adjectives in one sentence? Answer: Who knows... it's just what we have to deal with.

    So I might suggest one of these:
    UnitiQute is Naim's new, compact, high-end, all-in-one, digital-streaming audio player.
    UnitiQute is Naim's new, high-end, all-in-one, compact digital-streaming audio player.


    That second one is nearly what I had in post 3 -- I've added a comma after "compact" now that the product description tells us that "compact" is not part of the product type (like a compact disk player) but a reference to size.

    And I plugged a hyphen into "digital-streaming" just to bolt at least two words together -- they're optional since people interested in this equipment (and who have US$3000 or £1350 to own it) will be familiar with this term.

    Given the brief to write this, I might use two sentences. :)
     
  12. EnglishABC Senior Member

    NZ English
    Hi, Copyright

    Thanks very much for your reply. I read the sentence in a magazine, and this section was just discussing the latest technology that we all must have right away. I should have given this information in the first place. :eek:

    I have here some definitions I retrieved from "the copyeditor's handbook" by Amy Einsohn:

    Compound Adjectives: Adjective that consists of two or more words
    Coordinate Adjectives: Adjectives that are of the same rank
    Non-coordinate Adjectives (Cumulative): Adjectives in a series that modifies the unit formed by the succeeding adjective and the noun.

    Now, only compound adjectives require commas.

    So would we say that all adjectives below are coordinate--three of which are also compound adjectives? And 'audio' is a noun functioning as an adjective?

    UnitiQute is Naim's new, compact, high-end, all-in-one, digital-streaming audio player.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2010
  13. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    American English
    I don't do parts of speech, but it sounds good to me. :)
     

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