As a long time advocate of the synthetic comparative and superlative (yer actual –er and –est suffixes) and deprecator of the analytic more and most, I prefer to say cloudier rather than more cloudy on those occasions where it’s relevant (and preferably true). To me, the latter sounds clunky and silly. And naturally I take it further by proposing the abolition of all such moronity and mostification. Thus we go with beautifuler instead of more beautiful. This should work with all adjectives.

But what about adjectival phrases? Whilst recently walking from A to B, I found myself considering going via two possible routes (it so happened that I wished to visit C on the way). One route had C more ‘on the way’ than the other. So was that route on the wayer than the other? Was there, in fact, an on the wayest route? If I said that out loud would folk think me merely mad, or would they know what I meant?

In a department store, the whereabouts of the escalator temporarily eluded me, so I had to seek the telltale signs of large diagonal lumps of building from ceiling to floor. I needed an escalatery area – one escalaterier than where I currently was.

You’ll note that, in that preceding little story, the spelling escalatory (which means something else) would not have done

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