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

Victor aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Mon Jul 27 06:49:23 UTC 2009

A specific example that complicates things even more:
“We’re still _a ways away_ from our goal of providing equal educational
opportunity both academically and athletically,” said Bayh.

Not "way". Not "away". Not "ways"--but "a ways". (Could, of course, just
be the editor's parsing and it's really just "aways".) "A ways away" is
just ironic (for this thread)!


Arnold Zwicky wrote:
> 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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