Thursday, September 29, 2011

Linguistic Patrol: Modified Absolutes

Heard on a TV morning show, as the hostess and guest are breathlessly describing some $35-an-ounce cosmetic goo: "...It's very essential...."

I could only ponder how that was the most unique gaff I'd heard in weeks. Slightly irreplaceable, even.

Gah. Lady, there's a reason "essentialest" falls oddly to the ear. Sadly, the eejits have already chipped away at the word for one of a kind until "uniquest" almost doesn't -- but that fails to oblige me to let go quietly. They're binary: either you really must have a thing, or you don't; a thing or event is either the only example or there's more than one.


Bubblehead Les. said...

"Greatly Enhanced; New AND Improved; The Ultimate has gotten Even Better," and the list goes on and on and on....

John Peddie (Toronto) said...

Ahhh! You've given us the most perfect analysis I've ever read.