This is an ongoing issue for me. I constantly read copy (either published by someone else, or passed to me in the office) in which someone else's judgment about the comma in the coordinate adjectives is different from mine.
I find it hard to explain why I put them in and take them out. Especially when I am challenged.
Ian brought me a puzzle this morning.
tall, red boots
He and another copyeditor argued with the editor that the comma should be out:
tall red boots
But they couldn't explain why.
So, I'm going to be posting similar examples now and then, and ask for your vote.
Here's why I agree w/ Ian. But I can't find backup for this anywhere.
"Tall" is form; "red" is color. They are not coordinate, and therefore no comma.
What's your vote, and why?
And here, many other phrases I'm running across, and am wondering if I'm right.
a small stiff, flat base