a smiling photo of my mum

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angliholic

Banned
Manderin
Dylan was looking at the opposite page, where there was a smiling photo of my pretty blonde mum holding the world's ugliest dog.

Wouldn't it be more sensible to say a photo of my pretty blonde smiling mum? What's your viewpoints?
Thanks.
 
  • winklepicker

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    Wouldn't it be more sensible to say a photo of my pretty blonde smiling mum? What's your viewpoints?
    Logically, angliholic, yes. Photos don't smile. But it would not be an uncommon usage. I'd suggest a non-native should avoid it as inaccurate - and therefore poor communication.
     

    evilregis

    Senior Member
    English, Canada
    The original wording is perfectly fine. However, the wording you suggest certainly works as well (but I believe you would want to put a comma between pretty and blonde). You could also say, "a photo of my pretty blonde mum smiling".

    "A smiling photo" is a picture with someone smiling. It's not an uncommon expression. For example, you could say that a smiling photo is not permitted for use in passports.
     

    GEmatt

    Senior Member
    English/BE, Français/CH, Deutsch/CH (rustier & rustier)
    Dylan was looking at the opposite page, where there was a smiling photo of my pretty blonde mum holding the world's ugliest dog.

    Wouldn't it be more sensible to say a photo of my pretty, blonde, smiling mum? What's your viewpoints?
    Thanks.
    In colloquial English, I suppose you could say it this way and be understood, because people will know that 'smiling' relates to 'mum', and not somehow to the actual photo. But to be really accurate, I agree with your suggestion (and have added the commas).
    GEmatt
     

    angliholic

    Banned
    Manderin
    Thank you, winklepicker, evilregis, and GEmatt, and difficult cuss, for the various lights and I guess I got somewhat an all right picture.
     

    MissFit

    Senior Member
    I agree with evilregis. I also think that it sounds better to put smiling in front of photo, instead of with pretty blonde to avoid having such a long string of adjectives in the sentence.
     
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