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Only by this Healine:

"In “Infinity Pool,” the latest film by Brandon Cronenberg, a troubled writer’s vacation to an idyllic island resort turns into a surreal, existential nightmare."

Can I know only by this text and no further context either the writer is troubled or the writer’s vacation is the troubled one?

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    it's the writer who is "troubled" in your example. If it was the vacation, that would be a writer's troubled vacation (the vacation was "troubled" in some way, which may have also troubled the vacationing writer himself, but that's a matter of logic, not language). Jan 27, 2023 at 14:38
  • @FumbleFingers, that was very clarifying. I thought maybe "writer’s vacation" could be seen as a unit, so it would be troubled (writer’s vacation ) get it?
    – Bento Una
    Jan 27, 2023 at 14:56
  • Your point is a good one. I'm sure there are contexts where the two different parsings Adjective1 [Adjective2 noun] and [Adjective1 Adjective2] noun both make sense, but I couldn't think of any good examples to illustrate that when I commented. (If I had been able to think of some good examples I might have posted an Answer myself! :) In your exact case, though, "a troubled vacation" is extremely unlikely in the real world, compared to "a troubled writer". Jan 27, 2023 at 16:34

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The adjective modifies the noun it's directly in front of. You cannot put an adjective there if it's supposed to modify vacation; it must go in front of the noun it's modifying:

a troubled writer’s (long) vacation

Aside from that, in this context it wouldn't fit with how the vacation is being described. The vacation seemed perfect at the start but it becomes a nightmare.

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  • ♦, "Aside from that, in this context it wouldn't fit with how the vacation is being described. The vacation seemed perfect at the start but it becomes a nightmare." if the vacation ended in nightmare so it could be described as troubled, right? so it fits how vacation is being describled, agree?
    – Bento Una
    Jan 27, 2023 at 17:54
  • @BentoUna It's a style thing. I read the sentence as being structured to show the timeline of events: perfect start to the vacation, nightmare ending. If you reveal the twist (that it ended in disaster) at the beginning of the sentence, it can't be a twist.
    – Laurel
    Jan 27, 2023 at 18:14
  • ♦, I'm not sure I get your point I mean even if it stated very well but ended in nightmare (the vacation ) so don't you think it (the vacation) could be adjectivided as troubled?
    – Bento Una
    Jan 27, 2023 at 18:37

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