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

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.
 
  • panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    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.
     

    nzseries1

    Senior Member
    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.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    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 :)
     

    nzseries1

    Senior Member
    New Zealand - English
    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.

    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.
     

    AngelEyes

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    The "rat race" refers to a tiring, seemingly endless routine in an often competitive, busy environment.


    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
     
    Top