I should sometimes mind the think-before-you-speak rule http://french.about.com/library/pronunciation/bl-liaisons.htm Thank you, Sitesurf
Good question. Here is the problem.
If I say to you .....there is a great, giant of a man in the next room..... you wouldn't think there was an extremely tall President in the next room.
We have been talking as if great and tall were different concepts. In fact, great and large (in some way), are joined together in the conventional perception of the terms.
You can't really say that it is mistake to use great and assume it means physical dimension anymore than to say it doesn't.