What happens to s’mores when Dad finds outsized marshmallows before a cookout.


Curtis Olson July 05, 2015 09:33

Wow, perfectly cooked!  My new desktop wallpaper picture!

Michael K Johnson July 05, 2015 12:28

My older daughter cooked that one. (I had typed “oldest” but she was looking over my shoulder; “not to go all language nerd on you, but you have only two daughters”, she commented)

Curtis Olson July 05, 2015 12:45

I have two daughters myself, so I will have to remember that language nuance.  The youngest wouldn’t care, but the older one might.

Joseph Pingenot July 06, 2015 10:29

Interesting. I’d not heard of this, so I sought out references on it because there are a lot of “grammar rules” that e.g. the Merriam-Webster editors have called out as bogus.

It seems like there’s not a lot of agreement.  Many of the more colloquial places seem to simplify the rule to be “superlatives require three or more” (e.g. https://www.englishclub.com/grammar/adjectives-superlative.htm and http://eslblogs.waketech.edu/esl-english/2014/04/29/comparatives-superlatives/) but others have that plus one that agrees with my own, perhaps programming-/math-biased, understanding (e.g. http://www.unc.edu/~wendyk/english36.htm http://esl.fis.edu/grammar/rules/comp.htm).  The Frankfurt example seems to provide a more complete understanding of the superlative by discussing not the number of items in the list but rather the number of items in focus which seems to be the most complete idea behind the reasons counter-examples (of two) fail.  Indeed, good old Merriam-Webster provides the following definition of “superlative:” “grammar : the form of an adjective or adverb that is used to indicate the greatest degree of a particular quality : the superlative form of an adjective or adverb” (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/superlative)  This would seem to agree with the latter definition and also fit my understanding of the superlative forms.

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