Funnest Is a Real Word
We did a lot of memorizing in elementary school and even a fair amount in high school. One of the lists I still remember is the English “being” verbs. It was almost poetic.
Be, am, is, are, was, were, been,
Have, has, had,
Do, does, did,
Can, could, shall, should, will, would,
May, might, must.
It has a rhythm and plenty of alliteration. I should set it to music sometime. (“Conjunction Junction, what’s your function?” Remember that, or are you too young?) But I digress.
Another thing we had to commit to memory that’s part of our wonderfully irregular English language was the principal parts of irregular verbs.
Go, went, gone
Lie, lay, lain
Set, set, set
Proper English grammar also requires knowing how to compose the comparative and superlative forms of adjectives. When can you simply add -er and -est, and when must you precede the adjective with “more” and “most”?
Tall, taller, tallest
Short, shorter, shortest
Beautiful, more beautiful, most beautiful
Fun, funner, funnest
No? You say that it should be…
Fun, more fun, most fun
…to be proper English? You would be correct – until now.
English is a living language, as opposed to Latin, which is the most well-known and widely-used dead language. You can’t technically make changes to existing parts of a dead language. However, part of what keeps a living language alive is making alterations to it. As changes become more and more commonly used, they replace the older “correct” forms and become the accepted norm.
So, as of this writing, I’m changing the “correct” spellings of the comparative and superlative forms of “fun” to “funner” and “funnest” respectively, at least for my personal use.
Why? Why not? It feels right. “Fun” is a short word that fits well with the -er and -est. Why should it be any different than “hot, hotter, hottest”? Usually the longer adjectives get the “more” and “most” treatment. Little kids, who sometimes over-generalize the so-called rules of English, naturally say “funner” and “funnest” until corrected by an adult. Let’s let this one slide from now on. It’ll be funner that way.
If and when enough of you join me (and I know a few have already), we’ll eventually make them the new “correct” words to use when comparing (among other things) fun board games.
Therefore, my funnest board game to date is El Grande. It’s funner in my opinion than Agricola, but only by a hair. Those two games, along with Le Havre, Carcassonne, Castle, Mystery of the Abbey, and a few others, are the funnest games I own.
What’s the funnest game you’ve ever played? Which games are funner for you than all the rest?