I have an eight-month-old daughter. Her experiments in mobility led me to contemplate phrases like
the dirtier and messier, the better.
What happens if one (but not both) of the adjectives before the comma is replaced with a word that forms a comparative with "more" rather than the suffix -er? For example, replace "messy" with "dangerous." Neither of the following sound quite satisfactory to my ear:
the dirtier and more dangerous, the better
the more dirty and dangerous, the better
Is one of these actually correct? Is there some other solution that isn't coming to mind?