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The series in the sentence below and its positioning sound awkward. Micro, small and large are all adjectives, but public listed? Has the rule on parallelism been violated? And should anything be hyphenated? I'd like to know what's the best option for cleaning up this sentence:

Data were gathered from all micro, small, large and public listed housing developers in XXX.

My attempts:

Data were gathered from all housing developers, micro, small, large and public listed, in XXX.

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Public listed should be publicly listed. – kiamlaluno Jan 27 '11 at 11:27
Aah, as in ... micro, small, large and publicly listed ... . Thanks. I'm still open to other suggestions. – Sky Red Jan 27 '11 at 11:52
I agree with kiamlaluno. Another possibility is using parentheses: Data were gathered from all housing developers (micro, small, large and publicly listed) in X. – user3444 Jan 27 '11 at 11:58
I'm of the opinion that public-listed (hyphenated) would also be correct, making "public-listed" the adjective and doing away with the adverb requiring "-ly". – user4197 Jan 27 '11 at 22:43
Thanks for all the comments. I think publicly-listed is an adverb and doesn't belong in a series of adjectives. So, I'd go with Randolph Potter's suggestion. Now, if it was styled as an answer instead of a comment ... – Sky Red Jan 28 '11 at 18:26

I think the usage of the adjectives in the sentence is good. Because we use adjectives in the following order:

Determiner and Quantities - a, an, her, five, many, much several etc.

Opinion - pretty, ugly, smart, cheap, etc.

Size - big, fat, thin, tall, large, small etc.

Shape - circle, square, tall, etc.

Age - old, young 10 years, a year, a week, new etc.

Color - yellow, green, pink etc.

Origin - American, English, Asian, Middle Eastern, African, European, Chinese etc.

Material - cotton, wood, plastic, cloth, glass, gold etc.

Purpose - the reason that something is needed ( example hat box, sleeping bag, computer table)

In the example mentioned micro, small and large are used for size and public listed is used for the purpose.

But I can rewrite the sentence like this:

Data were gathered from all housing developers, including micro, small, large and public listed ones in XXX.

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Adjective order rules needn't apply when you're listing adjectives in that particular way. It's not a use-mention distinction and I don't know what to call it, but there's a difference between saying "publicly-listed important data" (which violates order and so "important publicly-listed data" would be better) and saying, "all kinds of data: publicly-listed, private, important or trivial", which is fine despite the order. I guess it's the difference between compounding the adjectives (all apply to the same thing) and enumerating alternatives. – Steve Jessop Jun 13 '14 at 1:51

Assuming that the true intention is to say that only publicly listed housing developers contributed data to it, then I agree with Dante Jiang's reformulation:

Data were collected from micro, small and large publicly listed housing developers in XXX.

But if 'publicly listed' is intended as an additional optional attribute, then including a second parallel construction explicitly stating the other set of options would be good:

Data were collected from all housing developers: micro, small, and large, publicly and privately listed.

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