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  1. #1
    notletrest is offline Senior Member
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    That was the most unkindest cut of all

    Hi, teacher,
    "That was the most unkindest cut of all." sounds strange to me. I can't understand it. Why is there "the most" before " unkindest" , the adjective in superlative degree?
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
    Frank Antonson is offline Senior Member
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    Re: That was the most unkindest cut of all

    Sorry, maybe I should not have quoted that.
    It comes from Shakespeare. I believe that Mark Antony said it about a wound in the dead Julius Caesar. What I meant to do was to show that English must not always obey rules to be great. Shakespeare used the superlative degree twice for emphasis.
    Something similar happens with the double negative that Beatrice uses in "Much Ado About Nothing" when she says, "Stop his mouth with a kiss and let him not speak neither" (or something like that).
    Frank

  3. #3
    notletrest is offline Senior Member
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    Re: That was the most unkindest cut of all

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Antonson View Post
    Sorry, maybe I should not have quoted that.
    It comes from Shakespeare. I believe that Mark Antony said it about a wound in the dead Julius Caesar. What I meant to do was to show that English must not always obey rules to be great. Shakespeare used the superlative degree twice for emphasis.
    Something similar happens with the double negative that Beatrice uses in "Much Ado About Nothing" when she says, "Stop his mouth with a kiss and let him not speak neither" (or something like that).
    Frank
    It is very good and interesting . Thank you very much!

  4. #4
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
    Frank Antonson is offline Senior Member
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    Re: That was the most unkindest cut of all

    Another example might be, "I can't get no satisfaction". Do you think that song would have been better if the lyric had been, "I can't get any satisfaction." or "I can get no satisfaction".

  5. #5
    Kevin Straw is offline Newbie
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    Re: That was the most unkindest cut of all

    Quote Originally Posted by notletrest View Post
    Hi, teacher,
    "That was the most unkindest cut of all." sounds strange to me. I can't understand it. Why is there "the most" before " unkindest" , the adjective in superlative degree?
    Thanks!
    All the assassins are extreme in their unkindness, they are all the unkindest of people, but the knife of Caesar's beloved Anthony makes the unkindest cut.

  6. #6
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
    Frank Antonson is offline Senior Member
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    Re: That was the most unkindest cut of all

    Cool! Are you quoting? Or is that original?

  7. #7
    SlickVic9000's Avatar
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    Re: That was the most unkindest cut of all

    (Not a Teacher)

    English grammar has evolved since Shakespeare's time. Constructions like "most unkindest" were likely more acceptable then than they are now. Strangely enough, the phrase doesn't bother me when I read it. In fact, it almost sounds natural.

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