Date: Sun, 11 Jan 1998 19:50:59 -0500


Subject: asbestos...?

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 " x as.." and "

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]

Yes, the "" 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 " best as..." "blend."