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I was over exaggerating while writing something for class and I wrote

Welcome to the most wildest show on earth.

Someone pointed out the most wildest and I was wondering if it was OK to use most with a word that ends in -est together.

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    It sounds childish. Do it only for fun, or in order to annoy. "Over-exaggerating" sounds childish too. "Exaggerating" already means expressing more than the actual, so it's already "over" what's real. If you're "over-exaggerating", perhaps you're exaggerating too much, whatever that means... In which case, you might truly be annoying people.
    – RJH
    Jan 21 '16 at 7:29
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    Possible duplicate of Is "most superior" correct?
    – user140086
    Jan 21 '16 at 8:01
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    I think "mostest wildest" would be somewhat worse.
    – Sven Yargs
    Jan 21 '16 at 8:08
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    "Wildest" already means "the most wild", so how can it be wilder than that? It's an overblown emphasis that is both incorrect and just sounds like ridiculous hyperbole. Jan 21 '16 at 15:11
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    Do this only if you are silently referring to Shakespeare's "most unkindest cut".
    – GEdgar
    Jan 21 '16 at 15:17
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No it is not ok to use more + -er or most + -est, unless you want to sound childish.

Cambridge:

Warning:
We do not use more or most together with an -er or -est ending:

They emigrate because they are looking for a better life.
Not: … a more better life

The beach at Marmaris is one of the biggest in Turkey.
Not: … the most biggest

1
  • You're telling me that society bigwig Perle Mesta was not the "Hostess with the Mostest"??
    – Hot Licks
    Jan 22 '16 at 22:03
3

Not "OK". If you want to go "over the top", then it should not be with a grammatical error but rather using extra (or arguably extraneous) adjective(s):

Welcome to the absolutely, positively wildest show on earth.

0

If by "class" you mean an English language class, then ‘most wildest’ will probably attract the ire and the red pen of your teacher. If someone exclaims: "It's not grammatical!" he or she probably belongs to the prescriptivist camp. Avoid using two superlatives together if you're writing an English exam or test, examiners will think you do not know how to use the superlative correctly.

Otherwise, in the "real" world of communication such as texts, IM, and casual speech, the rules for double superlatives are broken all the time. If someone believes that language is dictated by its speakers and not by grammar books, they are most likely a descriptivist. Yes, there are grammar rules in English, but if one is an able writer, these rules can be broken.

The Rule

Adjectives and adverbs in the superlative degree are similar to the comparative degree, but use the -est ending and the word “most” instead. In addition, the article “the” must be placed before the adjective or adverb in the sentence. Comparative sentences using the superlative degree are saying that something is the most when compared to the rest of the group.

Consider the following sentence:

  1. Justin is the fastest runner on the track team.

Generally speaking, the superlative degree is used when something is being compared to three or more things.

A common mistake with double superlatives is using both the ending -est and the word “most” in the same sentence. Errors with double superlatives can also be identified when the sentence by reading the sentence out loud. For example, the prior sentence would be incorrect if it was written as follows:

  1. “Justin is the most fastest runner on the track team.”

It would be best to remove “most” and keep fastest in the superlative degree

Source: grammarly blog.com

There is however one exception when two superlatives can be used together, consider "most best actor", it does sound childish but...

The most Best Actor nominations is nine, for both Spencer Tracy and Laurence Olivier (Nicholson has eight). Wikipedia

That example is grammatically acceptable, although rather awkward-sounding. One way to rephrase it, would be: “The most nominations for ‘Best Actor’ is nine...”

And to show that speakers do commit this type of ‘error’ frequently, we have

  • What is the most quickest and painless way to die? askreddit

  • Most Worst Situations To Be In facebook

  • Hottest and least hottest Womens USA soccer team. MutHead

The following citations by William Shakespeare will probably quell the protesters methinks.

PAULINA: What wheels? Racks? Fires? What flaying? Boiling
In leads or oils? What old or newer torture

Must I receive, whose every word deserves
To taste of thy most worst? Thy tyranny,
Together working with thy jealousies –
Fancies too weak for boys, too green and idle

CASSIUS: Ay, every man away.
Brutus shall lead, and we will grace his heels
With the most boldest and best hearts of Rome

This was the most unkindest cut of all.


The line is from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, 1601

ANTHONY: […]
For Brutus, as you know, was Caesar's angel:
Judge, O you gods, how dearly Caesar loved him!
This was the most unkindest cut of all;
For when the noble Caesar saw him stab,
Ingratitude, more strong than traitors' arms,
Quite vanquish'd him: then burst his mighty heart;
[…]

Origin

English teachers would probably put a red line through any schoolchild's text that included the 'most unkindest'. That Del Boy-sounding phrase would be corrected to 'most unkind' or just 'unkindest'. Shakespeare rose far above the concerns of spelling and grammar. As was the manner at the time, he wasn't even interested enough in spelling to be consistent in the spelling of his own name.

Source: Phrase Finder

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    While your special example is fine I don't think it really explains WHY that exception exists. The point being in the sentence you quote, "most" modifies a different noun then "best". Best modifies actor whereas most modifies nominations. So you still don't really get two superlatives being used together instead they are just being used next to each other.
    – DRF
    Jan 21 '16 at 10:54
  • A bold statement indeed, that Shakespeare could quell the protesters. "The most boldest and best" could very well be "the greatest number of the boldest and best" or "the most, the boldest, and the best". And "the most unkindest" could very well be just a lazy way to achieve iambic pentameter. Methinks it is indeed. And sure, this terrible construction is used all the time, resulting in a lot of childish-sounding English speakers. On the other hand, "the most (best actor) nominations" is completely different, and not childish-sounding or incorrect at all. Perhaps that's what you'd call "able"?
    – RJH
    Jan 21 '16 at 19:01
  • I would "describe" the double superlative construction as terrible-sounding, at the most best of times, and suggesting to a schoolgirl that it's a mark of writing ability as the most misleadingest of comments, particularly in the same breath as "texts" and "IM". ;-)
    – RJH
    Jan 21 '16 at 19:37
  • @RJH Here is a list of "terrible-sounding" double comparatives and superlatives by the most noblest bard himself ;) shakespeareswords.com/Comparison
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jan 21 '16 at 19:42
0

As others have noted, it is not what would be considered "correct" grammar. If you are aware of this then in the context of "over exaggerating" for dramatic or comedic effect it might be suitable whereas in serious writing it would not. If you know the rules then you can choose when to break them for effect and when it will make you look stupid.

0

The superlative adjective 'most' here is used to modify the 2nd adjective 'wildest' which also happens to be written in the superlative; it sounds spontaneous but there is no grammatical error here.

This spontaneity is called cumulative adjectives. They appear side by side but can't separately modify the noun 'show'. EG ' welcome to the wildest show on earth' makes sense but ' but ' welcome to the most show on earth' does not. In other words, 'wildest show' is a unit and is modified by 'most'.

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    I'm not sure you're really answering the question that was asked. Jan 26 '20 at 0:06
-2

Everything is ok. You have poetic license to write the way you want to express your ideas as you see fit. Don't be constrained by arbitrary rules or negative critics.

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    Hi, Teusz, Welcome to EL&U. This community doesn't encourage an answer without reference or research that can support your answer. Please make sure that you take the tour and visit our help center for additional guidance.
    – user140086
    Jan 21 '16 at 8:03

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