Asked • 06/27/19

What happened to the superlative?

For some time now I'm hearing more and more people saying "that's one of the more interesting things I've seen", "that's one of his better dishes", etc. Even when talking about something very close to the top or something of a very small group, where there can't be more than one best, let alone more than one "better ones". Did using the superlative to express ones interest, admiration or feelings in general go out of fashion? To me as a non-native speaker it sounds like people using these phrases want to be too cool for the room, along the lines of "yeah it's good, but I've seen better." Is there an explanation as to why this came about only recently (let's say 2-3 years), or has this been going on forever and my impression, that this is relatively new, is completely off?

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