One student once told me about OSASCOMP. I had never heard of it before. In the US, we never learned this rule. We just learn by listening every second of every day. While I can tell you what the correct order should be for most three-or-four-adjective phrases, it is only from habit or just “sounding right”.
I have discussed this topic in a past post and saw this topic come up again recently, so I thought I would post this here so I don’t have to search for it again later.
Let’s look at OSASCOMP a moment and see how it applies and if I can help simplify it.
Normally, Americans don’t use more than about three adjectives:
- She had long, straight, blonde hair. (Si, Sh, C)
- He has short, curly, black hair. (Si, Sh, C)
- He owned a sleek, red, sports car. (OCP)
- She was an energetic, attractive, young thing. (OOA)
- She was an attractive, energetic, young thing. (OOA)
In my mind, OSASCOMP is way too complicated. I might suggest OSCP as a simplification to cover the majority of cases where O = opinion, S => Size/Shape, C = color, P= purpose.
Mnemonic (memory aid) to remember OSCP?
- OutSide Can’t Pee. (won’t work for Chinese people 😉 )
- Our Side Can Participate.
- OutSide ComPass
- OutSide Can’t Post (must join the group first!)
- Our Sister Couldn’t Play
- Oh, Say Can you Play
- OverSized Canvas Painting
- (suggest your own mnemonic)