Imagine you’re writing a description -- for a menu, say, or a shopping list -- specifying a certain sort of yogurt. The product is
FrozenHow do you list those attributes?
Made from Greek-style yogurt
Since I think of “frozen yogurt” as a permanent compound, like “ice cream,” I would probably start there. “Greek yogurt” is a common compound too, but if I say “frozen Greek yogurt” I could be talking about plain old Greek yogurt stuck in the freezer, and “frozen yogurt” is not the same thing as “yogurt, frozen.” So I go with “Greek frozen yogurt.” (Or maybe “Greek-style”?)
As I pondered the next step, I went back and reread Neal Whitman’s post on the ordering of adjectives, which was entertaining and smart, but didn’t do anything so mundane as tell me what to do with my remaining adjectives. It seemed like a toss-up: “Vanilla” and “fat-free” are just about equally relevant and weighty, though I guess you could argue that “fat-free” is a more fundamental property of the foodstuff in question. So: “Vanilla fat-free Greek frozen yogurt.”
And why am puzzling over this? Because a headline in the latest flyer from Trader Joe’s advertises “Frozen Vanilla Greek Fat Free Yogurt” -- a sequence I would never come up with.
And on another page, there’s “Greek Strawberry Vanilla Yogurt” -- this time with the “Greek” before the flavor -- which I would render as “Strawberry Vanilla Greek Yogurt.”
For non-TJ customers, I should note that the store flyers are quite well written and edited; these labeling oddities (if such they are) don’t reflect any lack of skill with the language, just a choice that sounds foreign to me.
And you, dear readers? Where did you put those adjectives?