Executive Rewind: What’s Happening to Our Grammar?

I remember learning about comparatives in grade school, so when did…

…Happier become more happy?
…Easier become more easy?
…Faster become more fast?
…Larger become more large?
…Smaller become more small?
…Higher become more high?
…Taller become more tall?
…Fatter become more fat?
…Bigger become more big?
…Sadder become more sad?
…Simpler become more simple?
…Busier become more busy?

Is this the new rule for comparatives? It’s clumsy and jarring to my ear. And it’s something that’s been bugging me for years. I even wrote about it eight years ago.

Whenever I hear it I stop listening to what’s being said. Instead I find myself distracted and silently correcting this misuse in my mind and missing the rest of what a person is saying.

Consider how these and other grammatical departures might obliterate critical messages someone hopes to get through via a news interview.

And when you move into superlatives? Does…

…More happy become most happy instead of happiest?
…More easy become most easy instead of easiest?
…More fast become most fast instead of fastest?
…More large become most large instead of largest?
…More small become most small instead of smallest?
…More high become most high instead of highest?
…More tall become most tall instead of tallest?
…More fat become most fat instead of fattest?
… More big become most big instead of biggest?
…More sad become most sad instead of saddest?
…More simple become most simple instead of simplest?
…More busy become most busy instead of busiest?

What’s behind these changes? Is this how grammar now is being taught in grade school?

How about you? Share your thoughts on this and other grammatical changes you’ve encountered. Email me at the address below.

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