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"?


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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