The common use of double comparatives & double superlatives

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The use of double comparatives, eg 'more stronger'  &  double superlatives , eg   'most strongest'      ( sic!) is increasingly finding accepatbility, particularly so in US-English & to an extent in UK-English too. Surely, it's ungrammatical but to what extent does 'common parlance usage' impart it acceptance ?

asked Jan 24 '12 at 18:31 Bijay Nanda New member

4 answers


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I'd be interested to know your sources for the acceptability of these. As a UK English speaker, I have only come across phrases like, "most beautifulist" when the speaker is intentionally corrupting the language for comedic effect. Part of the joke is that it is understood to be incorrect use of the language.

 

What do others think?

link answered Jan 24 '12 at 19:18 Siân Harris Expert

The occasions when I've either heard or read this 'usage' are numerous . Being a UK English speaker too, I was surprised to hear the the use of 'more stronger' by no less a personage than the Rt Hon Gordon Brown, ex Pm in a BBC interview, on the day he stepped down. Neither was there any levity intended nor implied . Gordon Brown, to my mind doesn't come across as a votary of 'Valspeak'. As to the 'acceptability' factor , is it the case that like an untruth, repeated often enough.....the usage tends to ring true ? Bijay NandaJan 24 '12 at 19:36

All I can think is that it's the difference between how people speak and write. I'm fairly sure Mr Brown wouldn't actually write 'more stronger', but we are all guilty of mis-speaking from time to time. I agree, as people get more used to hearing the wrong form, they may be more likely to write it incorrectly - a scary thought! I wonder though, as we become more used to using different language for different mediums whether this fear is misplaced. Text speak and Twitter abbreviations are unlikely ever to be acceptable in formal writing, yet I can't see either going away. It will be interesting to see how the use of language develops over the next 50 years or so. While I have no wish to stand in the way of development, I will be correcting people who say 'most bestest' from now on (unless it's in jest). Thanks for pointing it out, I'm sure I'll be screaming at the radio even more often now! Siân HarrisJan 24 '12 at 23:23

:) :).....Perish the thought, but there may well come a time when 'Emoticons' alone would suffice...?! As for now , ..... 'more stronger'......positively grates !! Bijay NandaJan 25 '12 at 10:35

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I think it's fine for some dialects, but not mine. It's awful for mine, but I'm sure someone says it somewhere. I read something about "more" coming from Latinate languages, where there isn't necessarily a concatenative morpheme like in Germanic languages. What I find interesting is the fact that there are two different morphemes for "-er"; one for verbs, and one for adjectives. One is used comparatively, like in "stronger", and doesn't change the class of the word, but the other only attaches to verbs, to turn them into "one who does X", like in "driver".

link comment answered Feb 02 '12 at 23:06 Anna New member
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Very interesting question.

link comment answered Jan 25 '12 at 10:07 Ura Tansky New member
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Whichever 'argot'  dictates it, or whatever be the extent of acceptance.....'more stronger' does not lend any further stress or emphasis than....'more strong', or 'stronger'.....& remains patently ungrammatical .  

link comment answered Jan 25 '12 at 10:41 Bijay Nanda New member

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