When better is better than best

Is the Cadillac ATS or the BMW 335i the best car? Really, do you know which one is the best car in the entire universe? I don’t. I don’t even know which is the better car.  But the folks on the Yahoo! front page apparently know which is the most awesomest automobile in the world:

Of course, we know something that they don’t: When you compare two things, like cars, you use the comparative of an adjective, not the superlative. The superlative is reserved for comparing three or more things. For the adjective good, the comparative is better, the superlative is best. We are wicked smart and know that the correct question is: Which is better? It clearly shows that you’re comparing two cars, and not every car in the world.

Here’s a little ditty I learned from my mother many decades ago. I still use it to remind myself of the comparative forms of good:

Good, better, best
Never let it rest,
Until your good is better
And your better is best.

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