Can absolute qualifiers like unique,perfect ,round etc be subjected to further qualification as in more perfect,more unique and more round?
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It's not gramatically correct, but I see "more perfect" used quite a lot. And I use it too! But it is breaking the rules.
The rule book, the definitive word in diction and grammar, is the text proper, I avail, titled,"How To Speak and Write Gooder", published by,' Wrytestuff and Random Inc.'.
The updated text, has the timely volume: "How To Write and Speak More Gooder".
I have to say, yes, within a given context.
For example, if I refer to a tiger with six toes as being unique. No further qualifiers should be required. If the six-toed tiger sires a cub that is albino and also has six toes then it would accurate to say that the cub is more unique than it's sire.
I can say that a bowling ball is round and within it's intended function it is perfect. The bowling ball certainly rolls true and, thus, can be controlled by the bowler. Nonetheless, the bowling ball has flaws in roundness caused finger holes and possibly engravings to identify it's weight and origin of manufacture. Therefore when a bowling ball and steel ball bearing are compared it would be accurate to refer to the bearing as rounder or more round than the bowling ball. Yet both are perfect in their intended function.
The question of proper grammar was not part of the original question as I understood it. However, others have responded with respect to grammar and I also believe grammar does matter. It matters not that it is perfect but, rather, that it is tailored to the intended audience. If I am in a blue collar or rural setting and I use vocabulary and grammar such as I might use on a university campus then my country cousins may not fully understand me. In addition, my high manner of speech may cause some uneasiness in their minds with respect to me. Conversely, if I speak like a country bumpkin on the university campus it is less likely that I'll be taken seriously.
In my opinion the answer is no. But we still do it all the time. I'm sure I've written "more unique" or "more perfect" at some time. However, I probably wouldn't have written "more round" at any time. That's just absurd. How could something be rounder than round? :)
Total Answers: 5, Total Page Views: 344.Absolute qualifiers are just that -- absolute. But in trying to achieve a desired state, that's where the modifier comes in . . . as in the quote, "in order to form a more perfect union" refers to the quest for perfection, not that one perfect is better or more than another. Still, everyone's idea of absolute is a sliding scale. Is there really an absolute anything . . . outside of the vodka?
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