Writing a short story in which a young person finds a new friendship in an older person. And invites the older person to an event with a lot of young, long term friends.

I'm blanking out on what is better to describe the older person to a group of long term friends. "Hello everyone, I want you to meet..."

"... my old, new friend {name}." or "... my new, old friend {name}."

Yes, I'm aware both are 'rude', the context here is the all the friends are significantly younger, and the protagonist is putting it out there to remove the awkwardness others may have toward the newcomer.

closed as primarily opinion-based by MetaEd Nov 1 '18 at 17:15

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    "Can't say he's new, but I just met him"... – Dan Bron Nov 1 '18 at 15:46
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    Why are you mentioning age at all when it's self-evident to anybody who sees the person? (You wouldn't say "my new friend with one nose.") Just say, "I want you to meet my new friend," and leave it at that. – Jason Bassford Nov 1 '18 at 15:52
  • Dan - That's the conclusion I came up with, changing the description of "new" to something else, it works but seems clumsy. This is why I'm looking for structure. Jason - It is very self evident and redundant, but it has a socializing effect to all the others that if the protagonist and the older person are comfortable with the age gap, so should the others. It's a little complicated to explain the paragraph before and after this one introduction but it is important to focus on the age gap here, make it central to this part. – Desmond Potts Nov 1 '18 at 15:59
  • I guess the structure I'm struggling with is - "Old Friend" indicates someone you've been friends with for years. "Old, Friend" indicates a friend that is old. So to me "old, new friend" is more correct, because old is setting the condition or state of the next adjective. Maybe it just doesn't matter in the end. Maybe it's "... old, new, friend {name}." that looks funny, so I' questioning myself. – Desmond Potts Nov 1 '18 at 16:06
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The correct answer is "... my new, old friend {name}."

In this sentence, you're using "new" as a description of what kind of friend he is (he is a new friend), rather than his age ("old"), so new is acting as an opinion instead of an age, which according to this chart puts it in front. For any native speakers who want to mentally test this, change "new" to "best".

  • Oh wow, YES this is exactly what I was looking for. It makes sense now as well. If opinion is #1 then yes "new" is my opinion of this person who is old, and age is way down on the list. Thank you! – Desmond Potts Nov 1 '18 at 16:12
  • At the risk of being pedantic, "new" is your opinion/feeling about the friendship, not so much about the person. You're trying to say your friendship is new, not the person; You're trying to express "my new friend, who is old" without so many words (by adjective order and possibly punctuation). – Stephen Buchanan Nov 1 '18 at 17:31

In a comment to your question, you say that (in the context of the story) you have to refer to both the person's age and that they are a new friend.

So, the solution to the problem of old and new looking strange when juxtaposed (no matter in which order) is resolved by using a different word:

I want you to meet my new, elder friend.

  • This also works, Thank you Jason. It also answers the question about structure. – Desmond Potts Nov 1 '18 at 16:17

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