Positive, comparative, superlative and… is there a fourth?

I’m wondering whether English has something beyond its superlative degree. In my language we call that “túlzófok”, it literally translates to “exaggerative degree.”

I’m wondering because I often hear and read phrases where the much more is used before the comparative, e.g.

much more stronger

but this is grammatically incorrect. Still, whenever I hear or read something like this, I can’t help but think of our “túlzófók” and how people who use a phrase like this may have a similar intention, they may want to exaggerate. I don’t know however if that’s the case or if it’s just something some people do as a habit and without any particular reason.

So, does English have an actual, non-arbitrary way of exaggerating adjectives in a way which is comparable to the superlative, or if it doesn’t, has it ever had anything similar?

Answer

I found this pretty self-explanatory example of a “whimsical” usage that would be comprehensible to most native speakers even if they’d never come across it before…

“Wanna go get some ice cream? I’m buying!” asks Jazmun.
“Sure.”
“You know what?” asks Jazmun.
“What?”
“You are my best…no, my bestest friend.”
“You are mine, too, little sis.”

…where even though everyone knows bestest isn’t really a “valid” English word, it’s perfectly acceptable in an informal context to use it to mean better than best.


I’ll also just flag up these several hundred written instances of more betterer – though as pointed out here, that’s more “dialectal” than “whimsically emphatic”.

But neither of my examples (or any others, so far as I know) are valid in “standard, formal” English. To be strictly correct, Jazum would have needed to use a separate intensifier, such as very best friend.

Attribution
Source : Link , Question Author : Korvin , Answer Author : FumbleFingers

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