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Below is a list of clues, in no particular order:

  • Home
  • Forever
  • At 7:00 PM
  • Frequently
  • Annoyingly
  • Speedily

One order is the correct order. What is this order, and why is it the "correct" order?

Hint 1:

Start looking for commonalities in these words. What about them is the same for all words?

Hint 2:

Note the "Knowledge" tag and the "English" tag. Take this to mean you might need some uncommon knowledge about the English Language itself. I'm a native speaker and I didn't know about this until recently, so I'd expect not everyone knows about it.

Hint 3:

I actually got this idea from a recent Stack Overflow blog post. There's something in there (if you read it long enough) that will help you, though it's not exactly what's going on here. It's very similar, though.

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The correct order is

annoyingly, speedily, home, frequently, at 7 PM, forever

because

this is how adverbs are ordered in English sentences. Excelsior College OWL gives "manner, place, frequency, time [, purpose]" as the default ordering; "annoyingly" can only modify "speedily", and "forever" could go at the end. This could be attached to a clause in this order: "He went annoyingly speedily home frequently at 7 PM ".

(It's possible that there is some amount of reordering that could be done, especially with the word that I placed in the last position. But I believe this is the correct general idea.)

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  • $\begingroup$ Definitely the right idea. I was using a list that had more categories, so I had "annoyingly: as something else, and thus further down the list. But I certainly could accept this answer as is. I think I'll wait a bit though and see if someone gets the longer list first. $\endgroup$ – Chipster Jul 17 at 6:57
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    $\begingroup$ Wow, bang on 100k rep! Screenshot that one quickly! Congrats :) $\endgroup$ – Stiv Jul 17 at 7:07

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