Date: Thu, 17 Jul 1997 15:01:03 -0600 From: "Donald M. Lance" Subject: Re: As best as I can remember >Duane Campbell dcamp[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] asks: >Watching the Senate Finance Committee hearings just now (I don't have much >of a life), an attorney asked, "As best as you can remember . . ." > >It seems to me that in the last few years this phrase has almost completely >replaced "as well as", even among well educated speakers. It grates on my >ears. Am I wrong to think that this is grammatically incorrect, that you >cannot compare a superlative? Is it language inflation? Or am I just being >picky? That expression grates on my ears too (for an identifiable reason: a particular person who uses it) -- and, yes, it is "illogical" or "ungrammatical" if one expects traditional grammar to set the standard for logic and grammar (matches the logic of the peson referred to above). Recently I've been going through research and publications from the first half of this century (1890s to 1950s) and have seen the expression often in both correspondence and publications.