Funner and Funnest

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon May 29 13:00:26 UTC 2006

At 3:57 PM -0700 5/28/06, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>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 ! "

"Unfun Records" gets you off to a head start:
Unfun Records: a independent record label that was formed in Santa
Cruz, California and is run by Johnny Darko. The label focuses mainly
on the genres of hardcore punk, punk rock and thrash. Unfun began
around 2000 with a mission to make music with the motto "quality over
quantity".  [Since moved to Berkeley.]

then there are sites declaring that "laundry is unfun", another
declaring that "unfun stuff should be done only once", and so on.
144K raw google hits.  I know, SOTA.


>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
>The American Dialect Society -
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