I realize that there is already a very popular question that discusses this question in depth, but I think this is a singular case.

How would the following adjectives be ordered?

He is a brilliant, eccentric billionaire.

He is an eccentric, brilliant billionaire.

On the linked question, it states the order as being:

(5) Quality > Size > Shape > Color > Provenance [Sproat and Shih (1991)]

(6) a. Possesive > Speaker-oriented > Subject-oriented >Manner/Thematic [Cinque (1994)]

b. Value > Dimension > Physical property > Speed > Human Propensity > Age > Color [Dixon (1982)]

How would these two adjectives (brilliant and eccentric) fit into this? What would their order be?

  • He is a brilliant but eccentric millionaire. The contrast virtually demands more support than a comma. / Reversing the adjectives here is not unacceptable but shifts the focus. – Edwin Ashworth Nov 17 '16 at 16:15

Because the words 'brilliant' and 'billionaire' are so aurally similar, the sentence is more balanced when they are broken by your other adjective. Brilliant billionaire deposits all of the emphasis a the end of the sentence, weighing it down. "...brilliant, eccentric billionaire." definitely sounds more even and has better flow.

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