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<   No. 2137   2008-12-02   >

Comic #2137

1 {scene: Bridge of the Legacy}
1 Iki Piki: {through radio} Paris, get over here. There's something you should see.
1 Paris: I'll be right there.
1 Paris 2: I'll look after the ship.
1 {a white cat chases the rat across the bridge}
2 {scene change: on board the mysterious alien vessel}
2 Iki Piki: {to Paris, who has appeared} This ship is a time machine. We could go back to before you died and save you!
3 Paris: Tempting though that is, it would change history as we know it. I've never heard a worse idea.
4 Serron: I know! Iki Piki and I go back to warn ourselves against trusting our future selves!
4 Paris: I'm glad I left room for a superlative...

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In grammar, the comparative is an adjectival form indicating something has more of some quality than another. In plain English, if that quality is badness, then one thing is worse than another.

The superlative is the form used whan something has more of the quality than any other thing. If that quality is badness, then there is one thing which is the worst.

There is a little known grammatical construct for something that has even more of a quality than the superlative. Yep, you heard right. It's called the dibbler. If something has the dibbler level of badness, it's known as the wurst.

2021-01-17 Rerun commentary: Additional constructs include the double comparative, which is when you use two grammatical comparative constructs in the one phrase. For example:

Thing A is more worse than Thing B.


Thing A is worser than Thing B.

Use of a double comparative is frowned on in most forms of modern English, but is a feature of some dialects, including Appalachian English and African-American Vernacular English. Double comparatives were also often used in Early Modern English, the language of Shakespeare.

This leads naturally to the triple comparative:

Thing A is more worser than Thing B.

or even:

Thing A is worserer than Thing B.

This last one is actually attested in dialectical use.

Similarly, you can have double superlatives:

Thing A is the most worst thing.


Thing A is the worstest thing.

And even triple superlatives:

Thing A is the most worstest thing.

The question is, which of these constructions do you think is the more worsterest?

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