Jan. 25, 2019

Sentence 025 Let the cat out of the bag.

025 All the cars drove faster in the second round than in the first but by far the fastest among them was the Porsche.

025 All the characters in Midsummer Night’s Dream are unique but by far the most unique among them is Puck the clever jester.

025 All the girls in the harem were more or less pregnant but by far the most pregnant among them was Scherezade.

025 All the terrorists were more or less dead at the end of the attack but by far the deadest among them was Osama bin Laden.

025 The volcano gave us a lot of final warnings but the most final warning among them was the eruption itself.

025 The wines of different French regions are more or less incomparable but by far the most incomparable among them is the Cabernet Sauvignon.

Leslie: Can you find the Odd-man-out?

Claire: In the Sentence ’All the car drove faster in the second round than in the first but by far the fastest among them was the Porsche.’ ’faster’ is the Comparative Degree of the Adverb ’fast’ and it modofies the Verb ’drove’.

’Fastest’ is the Superlative Degree of the Adjective ’fast’ and it modifies the Noun ’car’ in the Subject that is not repeated but understood.

L: This Sentence doesn’t look strange at all.

C: The next Sentence is ’All the characters in Midsummer Night’s Dream are unique but by far the most unique among them is Puck the clever jester.’

I don’t really know what is wrong with it but it feels funny.

L: You are right. The Adjective ’unique’ is a so-called Absolute Adjective, i. e. it has neither a Comparative, nor a Superlative Degree.

The Adjective ’unique’ is in itself a sort of Superlative; not in its form, but in its meaning.

If something is ’unique’, it cannot be ’more unique’, and there is no such as ’the most unique’ of anything.

C: I see. Based on that, let me see the next Sentence. It is ’All the girls in the harem were more or less pregnant but by far the most pregnant among them was Scheherezade.’

I guess that the Adjective ’pregnant’ falls into the same category.

L: Good guess. Go on.

C: The Adjective ’pregnant’ is another on the list of Absolute Adjectives. It has neither a Comparative nor a Superlative Degree.

The Adjective ’pregnant’ is in itself a Superlative in meaning.

If somebody is ’pregnant’, she cannot be ’more pregnant’ or ’less pregnant’ and the extreme of pregnancy, ’the most pregnant’ is also meaningless.

L: I couldn’t agree more. Maybe the next?

C: The next Sentence is ’All the terrorists were more or less dead at the end of the attack but by far the deadest among them was Osama bin Laden.’

L: It sounds like another nominee for the Absolute Adjective title.

C: The Adjective ’dead’ has neither a Comparative nor a Superlative Degree.

The Adjective ’dead’ is about a final stage, and as such it is a Superlative Degree in meaning.

If somebody is ’dead’, they can be neither ’more dead’, nor 1less dead’, and the expression ’the most dead’ or ’deadest’ is totally meaningless.

L: Exactly. What comes next?

C: The next Sentence is ’The volcano gave us a lot of final warnings but the most final warning among them was the eruption itself.’

Correct me if I’m wrong but this Sentence is around yet another Absolute Adjective.

L: Right. Please go on.

C: The Adjective ’final’ has neither a Comparative nor a Superlative Degree.

The Adjective ’final’ is really about a final stage and it is a Superlative Degree in meaning.

If something is ’final’, it can be neither ’more final’ nor ’less final’, and the expression ’the most final’ is meaningless.

L: What is the last in the row?

C: It is ’The wines of different French regions are more or less incomparable but by far the most incomparable among them is the Cabernet Sauvignon.’

Based on the above, the word ’incomparable’ is yet another Absolute Adjective and it has neither a Comparative nor a Superlative Degree.

The Adjective ’incomparable’ is really abour something that cannot be compared with anything else, and as such, it is a Superlative Degree in meaning.

If something is ’incomparable’, it can be neither ’more incomparable’ or ’less incomparable’ and the expression ’the most incomparable’ is meaningless.

L: It seems that the Odd-man-out is the only correct Sentence.