Real better

Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Wed May 30 15:01:41 UTC 2007

On May 30, 2007, at 6:51 AM, Dave Wilton wrote:

> I use it. In fact it is so natural to me that I never thought much
> of it. I
> can't think of any uses with other comparative adjectives, just
> "better."
> "Really better" doesn't seem familiar to me, but it also does not seem
> unnatural.

let me, once again, encourage people to check MWDEU before posting on
a point of usage.  intensifier "real" 'very; very much' is venerable
-- and has been the object of complaint (because it isn't at home in
formal written english) for at least 120 years.

MWDEU also makes the point that "real" and "really" are not generally
interchangeable (without change of meaning).  intensifier "real" is
not really "really" minus the "-ly".


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