"It's _away_ better than fast food! It's Wendy's!" [NT}

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Tue Jul 21 17:51:47 UTC 2009

On Jul 21, 2009, at 10:11 AM, Scot LaFaive wrote:

> I've always heard it as "way better"...now I'll have to give it a
> better
> listen.

well, "way better" is *hugely* more frequent than "away better",
especially if you exclude instances of "far and away".  even then,
there are a fair number of irrelevancies.  but there are some clear

so if you're going to listen for "away better", you're going to have
to listen very carefully.

of course, it's not just "better", but other comparatives: "way bigger
than", "away nicer than", and no doubt others.  there are many
irrelevancies, but still there are some clear examples.

i have no idea whether some of these are survivals of the older
variant, or whether they are all strengthenings of the construction
with "way" (perhaps encouraged by "far and away").


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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