Well since you asked so nicely:
Yeah, I am usually superfluous when it comes to writing. Perhaps it's just a way of trying to make it sound more formal or classy. It seems like most of the time the sentences end up being overly long or wrong in terms of structure, or I don't make sense at all.
Boutique French Casual Dress winter Connection But thank you 'Copyright' for pointing out the other mistakes and for being so comprehensive with your reasons. Correct me any time, anyone! I'd appreciate if people would do this with every post of mine on this forum.
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ewie Senior Member
What is the rule that was "concocted" out of "thin air"?
I think the technical term is - what is it now? - ah, yes "absolute". (And I agree with you.)
Here is a sensible discussion of the use of modifiers and comparatives with "absolute terms" from the American Heritage Guide to Contemporary English. It points out:People object to these constructions because they seem to violate the categories of logic. Something is either complete or it isn’t. [....] There can be no in-between. The mistake here is to confuse pure logic or a mathematical ideal with the working approximations that distinguish the ordinary use of language.Here is Fowler himself using a comparative with "definitely" (underline added).
T O use individual wrongly in the twentieth century stamps a writer, more definitely than almost any other single solecism, .... Fowler's Kings English, 1908.Whether or not to use " most definitely" in the original sentence seems to me to be a stylistic question, not a question of grammar.
True though that may be gentlemen, too far east is west. It is one thing to say that the rule is over-applied in some instances, but I disagree with the idea that it has no merit at all. That is the impression that I got given that it was referred to as concocted out of thin air. Correct me if I have misinterpreted you.
It is true that some words, by definition, are absolute (such as the word "absolute" itself ). The fact that this remains topic of debate instead of one that has been settled aeons ago leads me to believe that grammarians on both sides of the divide have points worth taking into account.
George French Senior Member
- English - UK
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Forero Senior Member
- USA English
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I think this is the reasoning. I consider the phrase 'most definitely' to be somewhat of a slang expression, something to be spoken among friends, but not used in formal settings, for all the reasons everyone's thus far given.
Hey. Perhaps it's just a case of uncertainty.
I was just posting another message on a different thread here and I wrote "almost certainly", which somewhat made me remember about "most definitely" - because as my teacher said to me, it must be either most or definitely but never them both together.
Forero Senior Member
- USA English
I don't have any problem with "most definitely prefer", but I'm not sure what you mean by it. I think a "definite preference" would be a clear, distinct preference, and "most definite" would mean "clearest and most distinct", or "most clear and distinct", so "most definitely" has to mean "most clearly and distinctly". Is that what you mean?
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I don't have any problem with "most definitely prefer", but I'm not sure what you mean by it. I think a "definite preference" would be a clear, distinct preference, and "most definite" would mean "clearest and most distinct", or "most clear and distinct", so "most definitely" has to mean "most clearly and distinctly". Is that what you mean?Click to expand...
Ohh, I think I messed up the two up there. Sorry.
Yeah, I think your post is clear: "most definitely" does not give the impression of uncertainty as "almost certainly" does. Rather, it might just be sort of repetitive or excessive or superfluous or whatever grammarians would name it - I don't really know how to call this.
Last edited: Oct 26, 2008