The Grammar Belle

Spiffing y'all up, one typo at a time

Nothing Compares to You

Who’s the smartest grammar blogger of them all? Really, you don’t have to answer that. I already know how you feel about me. That’s just my little (only child) egocentric way of introducing today’s topic: comparatives and superlatives.

Do ya know the difference between the two? Is one “better” than the other? You very likely know that when two things are being compared, you use the comparative. The comparative form of an adjective usually ends in -er or is used with “more.” When more than two things are being compared, that calls for the superlative (-est or “most”). I know that you get that . . .

But, in the heat of the action, in the middle of a long sentence buried deep in a paragraph, it’s often hard to remember if you’re talking about ONLY TWO THINGS or MORE THAN TWO THINGS. I understand; I always go back when I’ve made a comparison and check to be sure.

I recently heard a major drug commercial saying “You can get our Magic Pill in capsule or tablet form. Talk to your doctor and find out which option is BEST for you.” I am happy to chat with my doc; I like him very much. But I’ve recorded and rewatched that commercial 15 times and I can’t figure out what my third choice is: capsule, tablet, or ??. I’m thinking it was just a poor word choice (somebody needed an editor).

Just remember:

Based on unscientific and completely biased data

I am often asked what my “youngest” daughter’s name is or how my “oldest” daughter is doing in volleyball. I’m happy to share plenty of info about them, as long as you’ll remember that I only have two: a younger one and an older one.

Thanks for stopping by, y’all. You’re the best grammar blog readers ever. I mean that from the bottom of my unbiased heart.

Do you have a burning grammar question? Are you battling with your kids over their English homework? Have a point you want made anonymously to your coworkers? Just drop me a line, here or on Facebook. The Grammar Belle is happy to help! And don’t forget to sign up to get an email alert each time I post a new entry.

10 comments on “Nothing Compares to You

  1. outlawmama
    October 4, 2012

    This is hilarious! Great use of school pride to show a grammar rule.

    • The Grammar Belle
      October 4, 2012

      A Mustang fan’s gotta do what a Mustang fan’s gotta do. We get no love anyplace else!

  2. mamarific
    October 4, 2012

    I love your posts. It is so easy to get caught up in the storytelling and pay less attention to the actual WRITING. I would like to put in an official request for you to address quotation marks and where punctuation should be placed, in relation…inside or outside of the quotes. Example: She is very “special.” Correct? OR should it be: She is very “special”. Have had a hard time finding this on the internet, and my daughter hasn’t reached this yet in 2nd grade English. Help me, Grammar Belle!

    • The Grammar Belle
      October 5, 2012

      You are correct! In AMERICAN English, the period goes inside the quotation marks. Same goes for commas. Colons and semicolons go outside. As for exclamation marks and question marks . . . well, that’s where things get tricky. Let’s just say, for now, it depends on if the quoted material is the question/exclamation or the entire sentence in which the quote is residing is a question/exclamation. (As you may guess by my all caps above, the Brits do it differently. Go figure!) Thanks for reading!

  3. ourmom
    October 5, 2012

    Thanks GB; we prove once again you’re (or is it your jk) never too old to learn. You taught and I learned. I have probably made that mistake many times.

  4. Jennifer Scogin
    October 5, 2012

    I moved to Houston so that my husband and I could eventually take over my father-in-law’s company. I am over the marketing. I have spent the last year and a half trying to redo all the marketing materials done by idiots. My father-in-law is (as most older folks are) resistant to change of any kind. This resistance includes Greg and me changing the horrible grammar in all the materials. Slowly but surely I am getting them changed, but it has driven Greg and I to drinking a bottle of wine nearly every night! My biggest peeve that I fight constantly is my father-in-law has this thing were he capitalizes random words and sometimes adds quotes and underlines because he thinks it draws attention to the word. Sorry, but why does “Specialty Cleaning” companies need capital letters and quotes!!!! GRRRR…It isn’t like that is the name of a company or even important to what the paragraph is about, and we are not quoting anyone!

    • The Grammar Belle
      October 5, 2012

      OH! I can’t stand random capitalization and oddly used quotation marks! God bless you as you keep fighting the good fight. 😉 I’ll buy you a glass of vino next time I see ya! (Tell your F-I-L that the only thing his randomness draws attention to is the company’s sloppiness. A simple bold typeface would work wonders!)

  5. Pingback: Yeah, I think it’s important. | The Grammar Belle

  6. Claire Gilstrap McCaskill
    October 9, 2012

    That commercial drives me nuts, too … at least now that I know better.

    • The Grammar Belle
      October 10, 2012

      Love your comments, Claire. Nice way of sneaking in the lesson. 😉 Thanks for reading!

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This entry was posted on October 4, 2012 by in Don't Make Me Beg, Grammar Dilemmas, When Spellcheck Won't Help.

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