One is good, two is better, and three is best.
Yep, it’s the good – better – best competition. The judgment is subjective, however the rules are not. Anything can be good. Your choice of any one of TWO items is the better of the two, although that decision may change depending on what you’re in the mood for. I mean, sometimes I want Chinese, and other times I need a pizza.
Of course, there are times that chocolate is my preference which boots this into the three or more category, which means whatever I choose will be the best of them all. At that moment *grin*.
…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end.
|Credit to: Dictionary.com: better and best|
|Part of Grammar:|
|Adjective; Adverb; Noun; Verb, transitive||Adjective; Adverb; Noun; Verb, transitive|
A comparison examines two options, and you can have the better of two options, but you can’t have the best of only two options.
good or better
better or best
A superlative examines the best of three or more options.
good or better or best
Use better when comparing good with best as the superlative
Of superior quality or excellence
Of superior suitability, advisability, desirability, acceptableness, etc.
Improved in health
Completely recovered in health
Superlative of good with better as the comparative
Of the highest quality, excellence, or standing
Most advantageous, suitable, or desirable
Comparison of well with best as the superlative
In a more appropriate or acceptable way or manner
To a greater degree
Superlative of well with better as the comparative
Most excellently or suitably
In or to the highest degree
That which has greater excellence or is preferable or wiser
[Usually, betters] Those superior to one in wisdom, wealth, etc.
Usually the best
Something or someone that is best
A person’s finest clothing
A person’s most agreeable or desirable emotional state (often preceded by at)
A person’s highest degree of competence, inspiration, etc. (often preceded by at).
The highest quality to be found in a given activity or category of things (often preceded by at)
The best effort that a person, group, or thing can make
A person’s best wishes or kindest regards
To increase the good qualities of
To improve upon
[Cards] To raise a previous bid
[Informal] To get the better of
|This brand of butter is better than that one.
a better speech
They are no better than thieves.
a better time for action
Ooh, look Mary, this one’s even better!
It took the better part of a lifetime to accomplish this.
I feel better.
He knows the way better than we do.
I probably know him better than anyone else.
I walked better than a mile to town.
Hmph, they consider themselves our betters.
We have bettered last year’s production record.
Marge, can you better that bid?
|This brand of butter is the best of them all.
the best students
the best way
The best part of a day.
The best of us can make mistakes.
It’s important that you wear your best.
Do the best you can.
He wasn’t at his best.
His woodwork is cabinetmaking at its best.
Their best fell far short of excellence.
Please give my best to your father.
She bested me in the argument.
|Adjective: bettermost, unbettered
Noun: betterment, betters,
|Noun: bestie, besties,|
|History of the Word:|
|First known use: before 900
Middle English bettre, Old English betera.
It is related to Old High German bezziro (German besser), Dutch beter, Old Norse betr, Gothic batiza.
|First known use: before 900
Middle English beste, Old English betst, best.
It is related to Dutch best, Old High German bezzist (German best), Old Norse bezt, Gothic batists.
C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves? Also, please note that I try to be as accurate as I can, but mistakes happen or I miss something. Email me if you find errors, so I can fix them…and we’ll all benefit!
Pinterest Photo Credits:
I couldn’t find the source for this “Hall of Flame 2002 Firemen”, so I thought I’d provide a link to the Hall of Flame Museum.