Date: Sun, 11 Jan 1998 19:50:59 -0500
From: Bryan Gick bgick[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]SAPIR.LING.YALE.EDU
I agree that this is probably a syntactic blend of the sort you cite, but
a simpler one. I have to assume that it came of "..as x as.." and "..as
best one can..," which, though a bit victorian sounding, does make perfect
sense (cf. also "as best I am able").
To my ear it makes imperfect sense. I might even describe it as (gulp) wrong.
When using the construction "as blank as", you are inviting comparison
between two things and requiring the use of the comparative adjective or
adverb. The superlative is beyond comparison. So you can do something as
well as you can or you can do it THE best you can. But to say "as best I
can" is as awkward as saying something like, "My car is as best as yours."
Duane Campbell dcamp[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]epix.net
Yes, the "as...as" construction is used for comparison between two things
-- but this is certainly not the only use of the word "as". For many of
the other applications of the word, you can substitute "in the way that,"
or the like. This is the meaning I was thinking of that made sense to me
(e.g., "I'll do it as best I can/am able [to do it]" == "I'll do it in the
way that I am best able [to do it]"). This has been pretty standard usage
for at least a couple centuries, as opposed to the, I think (though please
correct me), relatively new "...as best as..." "blend."