farm somber couple

mimi2

Senior Member
vietnam vietnamese
Hi,
Can I say "a farm somber couple"?
"Grant Wood painted scenes of rural America, including his memorable portrait of a farm somber couple."
Thanks.
 
  • gepayo

    Banned
    English, Florida, USA
    Tim is correct. "Farm couple" is a combination of one noun modifying another noun, like "brick house" or "paint thinner." These noun + noun combinations cannot be separated: "a silver tea pot," not "a tea silver pot"; "a red brick house," but not "a brick red house"; "a white Mercedes sedan," not "a Mercedes white sedan."
     

    mimi2

    Senior Member
    vietnam vietnamese
    Tim is correct. "Farm couple" is a combination of one noun modifying another noun, like "brick house" or "paint thinner." These noun + noun combinations cannot be separated: "a silver tea pot," not "a tea silver pot"; "a red brick house," but not "a brick red house"; "a white Mercedes sedan," not "a Mercedes white sedan."
    Thank you very much.
    You have answered all my doubts about these words.
    Ah, I'm curious about "paint thinner". Please explain more clearly.
     

    Victoria32

    Senior Member
    English (UK) New Zealand
    Thank you very much.
    You have answered all my doubts about these words.
    Ah, I'm curious about "paint thinner". Please explain more clearly.
    Paint thinner is a substance such as turpentine, used to dilute or to refresh (thin) paint if it has partly dried - so it is described as 'paint thinner', because of its purpose. Both words are therefore nouns, paint + thinner...

    Vicky
     

    mimi2

    Senior Member
    vietnam vietnamese
    Paint thinner is a substance such as turpentine, used to dilute or to refresh (thin) paint if it has partly dried - so it is described as 'paint thinner', because of its purpose. Both words are therefore nouns, paint + thinner...

    Vicky
    Thank you Vicky for your explanation.
    It enriched my knowledge.
    Thanks.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    You're right, I suppose that this is indeed a sombre farm couple, but I had the image in my mind before I read your rational analyses.

    I was going to suggest a hyphen, to read "... a farm-sombre couple." The description conjured up in my mind an elderly couple standing outside a dilapidated shack, careworn by scraping a living from decades of poor earth. Something like the Clampetts before Jed struck oil.
     

    mimi2

    Senior Member
    vietnam vietnamese
    Hi Mimi,

    I see you've been exposed to Grant Wood's "American Gothic"! The man and woman do, indeed, represent a "somber farm couple."
    Joelline.
    You are so great! you know a lot.
    Yes, This is the whole sentence:
    "Grant Wood painted scenes of rural America, including his memorable portrait of a somber farm couple, American Gothic, in 1930."
    Thanks.
     

    Joelline

    Senior Member
    American English
    Thanks, Mimi, but here in the US, we are overexposed to this painting: it's on the cover of a great many books and (especially) textbooks, for example! Book editors seem to love it. My English textbook during my senior year in high school had this picture on the cover. I had to look at it every day for a year! Since then, I've never been too fond of it.
     

    interduobusmundis

    Banned
    Inglés/Español EUA
    "Farm-somber" to me indicates that that's a standard look for farmers. The farmers I know are more like "farm-normal." We DO see the painting a lot in the U.S., but that doesn't take away from its greatness. However, there are also a lot of satirical versions of the painting, with grim-faced famous people standing in the same position.

    My favorite high school English teacher always had a picture of Robert Frost on the bulletin board. I once won a TV game show by recognizing his picture, thanks to good ol' Mrs. Bradford. Joelline, you never know!!!!
     
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