I was flipping through a magazine at the beauty shop the other day and came upon another of my pet peeves---the “who wore it best” feature of a celebrity magazine. The pet peeve of this stems from the fact that there are two gals wearing the outfit—but the question asked is “Who wore it best?” If only two people are being compared, it would definitely be “Who wore it better?”
The rule for this is the comparative and superlative forms of words—
Comparative words are used to compare two things or one thing to one other thing:
- better, worse, more
- She wore it better than the other gal.
- He is taller than she.
Superlative words are used to compare one thing to many:
- best, worst, most
- She wore it best out of all of the celebrities.
- He is the tallest in the room (of many).
Oftentimes, it is not clear what comparison is being made—and it can be tricky (and even subjective) to determine whether the comparative or superlative should be used. However, in cases where it is extremely clear (two people or things being compared), it should not be that difficult to do it properly.
So….the first article—with two gals wearing the same dress—should ask “Who wore it better?” but the next page—with three girls wearing the dress—was correct to ask “Who wore it best?” J