I came across the sentence below spoken by a native speaker and am wondering if it's correct, because it sounds odd to me.

How do you think we can show the difference between x and y? More especially the height and weight of y.

To me, 'most specifically' sounds valid. 'Especially' used alone also makes sense. But 'more especially' sounds weird.

Is 'more especially' correct usage?

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  • 3
    More especially is a pleonasm. Why would you need more when especially is there? – user405662 May 4 at 15:38
  • Define "correct." It is "correct" semantically, it conveys the appropriate meaning. It is, however, as you suspect, unnecessary. As you say - "Especially the height and weight of y" and "More specifically the height and weight of y" (or even better yet - "Specifically the height and weight of y") both also make sense but avoid the extraneous "more." – franklin May 4 at 15:49
  • @user405662 & franklin, Thank you! I got my answer! – Ridin May 4 at 15:53
  • Since "most especially" is, "most especially" being used all the time, "more especially" is by default. Any notion there can't be varying degrees of how special something is or how "especially" some action or description is is an ill-conceived one. That said, "more especially" would only apply in comparison to only one lesser "especially" (e.g., Todd, John, Jan, and Bob were all late. They should all be written up, especially John since this is his second day in a row, more especially Bob since this is his third day in a row, and most especially Todd since this is his fourth day in a row."). – Benjamin Harman May 4 at 17:17
  • @BenjaminHarman, that is a good explanation, and makes perfect sense. Thank you! So, is it correct to assume that the pleonasm introduced by more in the statement I shared would not have been considered so if it had been: ..between x and y, especially the height and weight, more especially the weight? – Ridin May 5 at 2:12

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