Funner and Funnest

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Sun May 28 22:57:53 UTC 2006

John's article is prescient. From p. 159:

  "The future development of adjectival _fun_ needs watching.  We can surely expect to find pure intensifiers used with it: _a very fun party_ is only a matter of time.  We may even anticipate being told that one car is funner than another, and that will be the funnest thing of all."

  I've also heard the exclamation, "How fun ! "

  Will now try to circulate "How unfun ! "


Jesse Sheidlower <jester at PANIX.COM> wrote:
  ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: Jesse Sheidlower
Subject: Re: Funner and Funnest

On Sun, May 28, 2006 at 11:21:25AM -0700, Arnold M. Zwicky wrote:
> once you start to get predicative "fun" modified by degree adverbs
> like "very" and "so", then you're looking at adjective uses. these
> were probably around for some time without attracting notice -- no
> doubt someone has looked at the history (it might even be in whitney
> tabor's 1994 stanford ph.d. dissertation, which i don't have to hand
> at the moment) -- until the extremely visible comparative and
> superlative appeared (at least 25 years ago), and people started
> complaining, often and loudly.

I don't have it in front of me right now, but I'm rather sure that
John Algeo's essay on _fun_ in American Speech--1962 I think--
discussed the comparative and superlative forms.

Jesse Sheidlower

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