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  1. #1
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    Default Younger/Youngest

    I have two daughters and the second is getting married. Should the invitation read "my younger daughter," or "my youngest daughter."

  2. #2
    bianca is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Younger/Youngest

    you can surely say 'my youngest' / 'oldest' - of two daughters. Not only younger/older.
    Last edited by bianca; 18-Jun-2007 at 17:37.

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    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: Younger/Youngest

    Younger is correct. You have two daughters, an older daughter and a younger daughter. "Younger" implies one of two.

    "Youngest" implies more than two.

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    bianca is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Younger/Youngest

    My two cents:

    One can surely say:

    She is the youngest / oldest of my two daughters.

    Betty and Alice, their youngest of two daughters, could deeply hurt each other.

    He is the oldest of my two children.

    So, both of them are correct, but I would use the superlative. (AE??)
    Last edited by bianca; 18-Jun-2007 at 16:23.

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    Harry Smith's Avatar
    Harry Smith is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Younger/Youngest

    Quote Originally Posted by bianca View Post
    My two cents:

    Some grammars hold that, when comparing only two entities, use of the superlative is ungrammatical: if the group were to contain only Mary and John, Mary would be older, while John would be younger and it would be ungrammatical to say that Mary was the oldest. However, the superlative degree used in reference to sets of two or fewer are found in writing and speech.

    One can surely say:

    She is the youngest / oldest of my two daughters.

    Betty and Alice, their youngest of two daughters, could deeply hurt each other.

    He is the oldest of my two children.

    So, both of them are correct, but I would use the superlative.
    I think you should agree with Anglika.

  6. #6
    bianca is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Younger/Youngest

    No offence, but I only agree with facts. I must be convinced by the whole picture. I agree about younger, but I am sure that youngest goes as well.

    My answer is that both younger and youngest can be used. Here comes some info:

    "Some prescriptive grammars hold that, when comparing only two entities, use of the superlative is ungrammatical: if the group were to contain only Adam and Bess, Adam would be older, while Bess would be younger and it would be ungrammatical to say that Adam was the oldest. The superlative degree used in reference to sets of two or fewer are found, however, in writing and speech. In an offer for auction to the "highest bidder" in which only one bid were received, for example, no rule of English grammar would negate the sale.[1]"
    Superlative - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Last edited by bianca; 18-Jun-2007 at 13:44.

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    Harry Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Younger/Youngest

    Quote Originally Posted by bianca View Post
    No offence, but I only agree with facts.
    You can agree with people and to facts.

  8. #8
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: Younger/Youngest

    Unfortunately misuse of youngest in writing can be found. It does not make its use in this context any more valid. If the answer to the question is to be used producing a formal invitation, my advice would always be to use the correct form.

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    bianca is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Younger/Youngest

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Smith View Post
    You can agree with people and to facts.
    sorry, agree with facts is correct, too. In my example, I'd use with. You probably use "to facts" when you also specify what kind of facts you're talking about (to facts that / which ...). But, I agree with facts of life. You can even say "this food does not agree with me" - 'with' is not only for persons.
    Last edited by bianca; 18-Jun-2007 at 14:00.

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    bianca is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Younger/Youngest

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    Unfortunately misuse of youngest in writing can be found. It does not make its use in this context any more valid. If the answer to the question is to be used producing a formal invitation, my advice would always be to use the correct form.
    I don't get the impression that this is a misuse, rather a disagreement among grammarians. The example with the highest bidder (of two) is pretty conclusive to me.

    What I am saying is that, I do agree with your explanation, Anglika, I am not saying against you. But there are sometimes also exceptions to the rule, when one can use the superlative when comparing two entities (see the link above - reading it, and others as well, I understand that the superlative isn't wrong to use either, as a correct form, although the "-er" from is the conventional one). I don't see things black and white, I want the whole picture. Maybe the superlative is more common in AE. Unfortunately, I am not easily convinced without seeing support for someone's argument against the use of superlative. I hope that you will understand.
    Last edited by bianca; 18-Jun-2007 at 17:41.

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