Date: Wed, 14 Jan 1998 21:58:28 -0600


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.