Can someone offer insight on the usage of more vs. better
1. I like cats more than dogs.
2. I like cats better than dogs.
Would you say that #1 is wrong?
No. If either is wrong, it's 2. This is an example of people not trusting one word enough, that they have to add the same function to an unrelated word, creating a redundancy.
We don't say, "I hate animals. But I hate dogs better than cats." We use "more than cats". This example shows that 'better than' is not simply functioning as a comparative, but also as a semantic buttress for 'like'.
"I prefer cats to dogs." Adequate.
"I prefer cats more than dogs." Unnecessary.
"I prefer cats better than dogs." Obviously over the top.
Woop, that's right - better slipped right by me. Tsk.
Please wash the dish for a longer time, Please wash the dish until it's clean, etc. - are not particularly natural-sounding, compared to, say,
Please get those dishes clean.
Keep washing the dishes until they are clean, please.
Please scrub the dishes well.
Keep scrubbing those dishes and get them clean as a whistle.