Is "Funnest" a Word?

It depends on whether you think "fun" is an adjective.

Mignon Fogarty,
September 12, 2008
Episode #134

Page 3 of 3

The Final Analysis

In the end, I've come to believe that there is a “fun” continuum. On one end you've got "fun," the noun, and everyone is happy to cluster around and be associated with it. That's the standard usage. Then, if you move on to "fun," the adjective, you've got a smaller but still significant group of people who will give their approval. That makes "fun" as an adjective informal usage. And then as you move on down the continuum you've got a much smaller group of people who are willing to grab "funner" and "funnest" by the shoulders and give them a big welcoming hug. That would be an example of language in flux. This small group clearly includes Steve Jobs, who has just thrust "funnest" into the spotlight. I predict the "funnest iPod ever" campaign will increase the general use of "funnest" and could even push it into the informal usage category. Now that's power.


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1. Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage. Springfield: Merriam-Webster, 1994, pp. 469-70.

2. Garner, B. Garner's Modern American Usage. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003, p. 371.

3. The American Heritage Guide to Contemporary Usage and Style. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005, p. 197.

4. The Grammar Logs. #596, March 24, 2004, http://tinyurl.com/3nwddd (accessed September 9, 2008).

5. Wallraff, B. Word Court 87 (2000).

6. Garner, B. Garner's Modern American Usage. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003, p. 370.

Other Sources

Online comments that include objections to "fun" as an adjective

One online comment that calls "fun" as an adjective "informal"

Online comments that support the use of "fun" as an adjective

Other Interesting Links

·  World Wide Words article about "fun" (Perhaps the best article online about the word "fun.”

The author doesn't take a strong stand on "fun" as an adjective but is opposed to "funner" and "funnest.")



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