Wordsmith.org: the magic of words

Wordsmith Talk

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  

Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4
#158689 - 04/19/06 10:48 AM securest vs. most secure  
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 1,055
belligerentyouth Offline
old hand
belligerentyouth  Offline
old hand

Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 1,055
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.

#158690 - 04/19/06 11:57 AM Re: securest vs. most secure  
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 3,467
TEd Remington Offline
Carpal Tunnel
TEd Remington  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 3,467
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
#158691 - 04/19/06 12:15 PM Re: securest vs. most secure  
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 6,511
AnnaStrophic Offline
Carpal Tunnel
AnnaStrophic  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 6,511
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....

#158692 - 04/19/06 12:32 PM Re: securest vs. most secure  
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 1,055
belligerentyouth Offline
old hand
belligerentyouth  Offline
old hand

Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 1,055
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.

#158693 - 04/19/06 01:28 PM Re: securest vs. most secure  
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,290
zmjezhd Offline
Carpal Tunnel
zmjezhd  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,290
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.
#158694 - 04/19/06 02:37 PM Re: securest vs. most secure  
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 10,538
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel
tsuwm  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 10,538
this too shall pass
..but not funner than shooting grammatical monkeys in a barrel?!

#158695 - 04/19/06 02:57 PM Re: securest vs. most secure  
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 557
Myridon Offline
addict
Myridon  Offline
addict

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 557
Dallas, TX
Quote:

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



Funnest post more eve.

#158696 - 04/19/06 03:30 PM Re: securest vs. most secure  
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 3,467
TEd Remington Offline
Carpal Tunnel
TEd Remington  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 3,467
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
#158697 - 04/19/06 05:03 PM Re: securest vs. most secure  
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,290
zmjezhd Offline
Carpal Tunnel
zmjezhd  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,290
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.
#158698 - 04/19/06 06:14 PM Re: securest vs. most secure  
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 3,467
TEd Remington Offline
Carpal Tunnel
TEd Remington  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 3,467
Marion NC
Sorry you mind being told that.

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


TEd
Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4

Moderated by  Jackie 

Forum Statistics
Forums16
Topics13,879
Posts224,009
Members9,024
Most Online3,341
Dec 9th, 2011
Newest Members
TFED1, mark18, PureTech, Dilys, Abishek
9024 Registered Users
Who's Online Now
1 registered members (wofahulicodoc), 72 guests, and 3 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Top Posters(30 Days)
Dilys 1
mark18 1
Top Posters(All Time)
wwh 13,858
Faldage 13,803
Jackie 11,613
tsuwm 10,538
LukeJavan8 9,007
AnnaStrophic 6,511
Wordwind 6,296
of troy 5,400
Disclaimer: Wordsmith.org is not responsible for views expressed on this site. Use of this forum is at your own risk and liability - you agree to hold Wordsmith.org and its associates harmless as a condition of using it.

Home | Today's Word | Yesterday's Word | Subscribe | FAQ | Archives | Search | Feedback
Wordsmith Talk | Wordsmith Chat

© 1994-2017 Wordsmith

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0
Page Time: 0.015s Queries: 13 (0.004s) Memory: 2.7292 MB (Peak: 2.8596 MB) Zlib disabled. Server Time: 2017-10-23 15:28:54 UTC