Date: Wed, 14 Jan 1998 21:58:28 -0600
From: "Donald M. Lance" engdl[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]SHOWME.MISSOURI.EDU
Subject: Re: "as best as I can remember"
Jerry Cohen wrote on January 8:
I believe the construction almost certainly originated as a syntactic
blend--a good example of which is "time and again," blended from "time
after time" and "again and again." In the case of "as best as I can
remember," let's leave off "remember" for the moment and operate with the
following context: "I'll do it as well as I can" and "I'll do it to the
best of my ability." These two can blend to produce "I'll do it as best as
I can." With "as best as" now interchangeable with "as well as" (in this
initial context), its use was extended to other contexts, e.g. "as best as
I can remember."
(1) I'll do it as well as I can.
(2) I'll do it the best I can. (from ...the best way I can)
These two got blended. Jerry, you may not say (2), but I do, and I suspect
others do too.