A friend of mine saw a gun at the store that was labeled as the "most quiet gun". Is this correct English or is it more correct to say, the "quietest gun"?

marked as duplicate by tchrist Jun 9 '17 at 15:36

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Short Answer: "quietest" sounds better to me, but both are grammatically correct

Long Answer: For comparatives and superlative(-er and -est, respectively) forms of words, alwaysuse "most" for words with words for three or more syllables. For words with one syllable, always use "-est." Two syllable words can vary, some with only one correct comparative/superlative and some where both are acceptable. Quiet is a word where both forms are acceptable.

Source: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/words/forming-comparative-and-superlative-adjectives-american

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    That’s not the unlikeliest rule I’ve ever read, but it’s still not quiet correct. – tchrist Dec 7 '13 at 23:35
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    Your source doesn't back up your assertion. – Edwin Ashworth Dec 30 '15 at 15:02
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    @EdwinAshworth They must have changed it on me since I posted my answer. I've updated the link. Thanks for letting me know. – FracturedRetina Dec 30 '15 at 15:08
  • Thank you. Always be careful when using Oxford comics. – Edwin Ashworth Dec 30 '15 at 15:38
  • typo: alwaysuse there should be a space – Mari-Lou A Dec 30 '15 at 17:46

Since quiet is a two-syllable adjetive, the rule-of-thumb would make more quiet and most quiet the expected comparative forms; however, quietest and quieter are six-times more common (or, as many would say, "commoner." Both forms are correct, but the single-word construction is what the American ear expects to hear.

  • “The funnier the post, the tireder I get.” – tchrist Dec 8 '13 at 0:33

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