Well, thankfully my spell check will not let me get by with saying that something is awfuller than something else. In browsing google I threw in the words awful, awfuller, and awfullest, just to see what would happen and quick as an eye-wink, google pulled up numerous uses of those words as acceptable grammatical usage meaning awful, more awful, and most awful.
That’s awful! I don’t want to be told I’m awful at anything, but being awfuller than my sister, or the awfullest in my family would be most unbearable. Webster’s dictionary would be happier if I settled for very bad, worse, and worst.
The stimulus for this poor management of my time, was a casual statement I made to my husband at lunch time.
“Don’t add salt to the beans,” I cautioned him.
He said something to the effect that if he did, it would make them saltier. Then he adds, “Would they be saltier or more salty, properly speaking?”
“I’m not sure,” I said. “Actually I think you could get by with either.” (Who ever said women were more inquisitive?)
He doesn’t drop it. “Well, what’s the rule?”
“Well I think you add er and est to words with one syllable and use more and most with words with two or more syllables.”
He persists, “You’re the grammar teacher, you should know.” The ball was tossed in my court to find out.
After research, I find out that I was right (most of the time) with my two syllable rule, except when the two syllable word ends in y then you change y to i and add er or est.
He has now gone happily to bed leaving me to do the research, knowing I will give him the answer in the morning. No wonder he is smarter, more intelligent, and wiser than I. He will learn in two minutes what I have spent forty minutes learning while he sleeps.
The truth is, however, that I could do things faster and better if I just did not have such curiosity. I can’t resist little trivia items like “Most Unusual Superlatives in Senior Yearbooks.” That’s the way I waste my time, but it is most amusing to see how schools deal with having to give some kind of award to every student. They must feed everybody’s ego. So here’s some examples of how to do it: Most Interesting Items in Locker; Most Outrageous Outfits; Nicest Binder Keeper; Silliest Joke Teller; Most Creative Drawer.
So that is how I spend my most valuable time finding funny stuff. And if I find some stuff that is funnier than other stuff, I know not to say that it is more funny. And next time I’ll remember that the beans with be saltier if more salt is added.
(This was written as a grammar post for Blogger’s World and published there on March 9th. I decided it was worth another go for my followers and/or other readers.)