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#158689 - 04/19/06 06:48 AM securest vs. most secure
belligerentyouth Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/20/00
Posts: 1055
Loc: Berlin
Which one is the correct superlative? Or are they both okay? If so, does one form of superlative not generally exclude the other from being correct? Exceptions? Ta.

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#158690 - 04/19/06 07:57 AM Re: securest vs. most secure
TEd Remington Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 3467
Loc: Marion NC
I'm probably gonna get the hell beat out of me by the descriptivists, but here's the rule on that:

If the adjective ends in y and is two syllables long you can drop the y and use er and est. Otherwise you use more and most in front of the adjective.

http://web2.uvcs.uvic.ca/elc/studyzone/330/grammar/regcom.htm

Sure, you could use securer or securest, just like you could use pleasurabler and pleasurablest instead of more and most pleasurable.

But you'd be incorrect.
_________________________
TEd

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#158691 - 04/19/06 08:15 AM Re: securest vs. most secure
AnnaStrophic Offline
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Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 6511
Loc: lower upstate New York
Good to see you again, by. We talked about this elsewhere but I don't have time to find the link....

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#158692 - 04/19/06 08:32 AM Re: securest vs. most secure
belligerentyouth Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/20/00
Posts: 1055
Loc: Berlin
Right, thanks for the info there, Ted. Instinctively I would have said it was wrong or at least sounds wrong, but there are so many online references - even in online dictionaries! That's why I asked.

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#158693 - 04/19/06 09:28 AM Re: securest vs. most secure
zmjezhd Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 3290
Loc: R'lyeh
If the adjective ends in y and is two syllables long you can drop the y and use er and est. Otherwise you use more and most in front of the adjective.

So, happy, happer, happest? That's some rule.

The older forms of comparison, i.e., -er and -est, seem more restricted in their use. Many people do seem to use securest, so I wouldn't call it incorrect exactly. How about a reverse question, can one use the more and most forms with shorter adjectives? Quiet?

The most quiet place in the world.

The quietest place in the world.

I'll probably be beaten unconscious with a bloody copy of Shooting Leaf-eating Pandas, but it's worth the trouble.

That was more fun than a barrel of grammatical monkeys.
_________________________
Ceci n'est pas un seing.

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#158694 - 04/19/06 10:37 AM Re: securest vs. most secure
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10522
Loc: this too shall pass
..but not funner than shooting grammatical monkeys in a barrel?!

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#158695 - 04/19/06 10:57 AM Re: securest vs. most secure
Myridon Offline
addict

Registered: 10/24/05
Posts: 557
Loc: Dallas, TX
Quote:

So, happy, happer, happest? That's some rule.



Funnest post more eve.

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#158696 - 04/19/06 11:30 AM Re: securest vs. most secure
TEd Remington Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 3467
Loc: Marion NC
OK, go ahead and have your fun . So I was a tad imprecise, I admit.

You ask about "shorter" adjectives.

Quieter, quietest, more quiet, most quiet. If you look at the URL above you will see that it depends on the number of syllables, not on the length of the word. I would never say or write quieter or quietest; rather, I would use more and most, and I would do so instinctively, as I believe would most others who have English as their first language. And I have never been more sure of anything in my life . Some will note that I did not say surer. That's because there are, as usual, exceptions for every rule. Right off hand I cannot tell you why I use more sure in that sentence, only that it feels right.

_________________________
TEd

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#158697 - 04/19/06 01:03 PM Re: securest vs. most secure
zmjezhd Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 3290
Loc: R'lyeh
I don't mind you not using quieter or quietest, but I do mind you telling me, a native speaker of English, that these forms are incorrect. I don't mind there being exceptions to the rules. I meant shorter adjectives as in the sense shorter number of syllables. I believe that the forms like more quiet (1.01 m ghits), most quiet (250 k ghits), securer (204 k ghits), securest (164 k ghits), just show that the system is in a state of flux. (Quieter (14.5 m ghits), quietest (2.86 k ghits), more secure (30.3 m ghits), most secure (5.67 m ghits).) More sure may be preferred by speakers because of sure ending in an r sound. Fun may be problematic because both fun and funny are adjectives.

Also, I do like the comparison of adjectives in -ly.

A goodlier sum of money I have never seen.
_________________________
Ceci n'est pas un seing.

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#158698 - 04/19/06 02:14 PM Re: securest vs. most secure
TEd Remington Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 3467
Loc: Marion NC
Sorry you mind being told that.

Can you elaborate on the adjectives in -ly. I didn't understand what you meant.
_________________________
TEd

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