Usage and Grammar

Q. My projects include a lot of descriptions of real property. The author, the reviewer, and I are butting heads about using “a rectangularly shaped parcel” instead of “a rectangular shaped parcel.” I say if they wouldn’t use “squarely shaped parcel”—which they don’t—they should stick with “rectangular shaped.” And now that I’m typing this, I’m thinking “rectangle shaped parcel” may be even better.

A. The alternatives using “shaped” are all pretty awkward: rectangle-shaped parcel, rectangular-shaped parcel, rectangularly shaped parcel. And they’re redundant to boot. “Rectangular parcel” says it best.