Everyone has not had the opportunity to go to college but I don’t think that the lack of a college education is any excuse not to know the proper usage of the words worse and worst. I have seen it misused a zillion times in the past week, and I CAN’T take it anymore.
The word worse is a more extreme condition of bad. If I ran a race and I came in 6th out of 10, that would be bad, if I came in 7th, that would be worse.
The word worst implies the most extreme condition of a bad situation. If I ran that same race and came in last, that would be the worst position.
Rule of thumb: if you are comparing two things... use worse. If you are using three or more and want to signify one as the most extreme of the three, then use 'the worst'. (the absolute worst, worst of all, etc.)
Examples below (all of which I have seen in blogs or comments recently)
Incorrect: 'what’s worst is…' (No. Unless it is referencing 3 or more items)
Correct: what's worse is...
Incorrect: '...people have survived worst.’ (double No.)
Correct: people have survived worse or survived the worst conditions.
Incorrect: 'To make matters worst…' (No, No, NOOOOO!)
Correct: To make matters worse
Yes, there are exceptions, and the rule of thumb may not always work, but it will work 99.999% of the time.
I have tried to hold my tongue in the blogshpere, excusing things as type-o's. But every grammatical error is NOT a type-o, or someone just trying to be comedic using ebonics... sometimes people just DON’T know the correct way, so maybe this will help.
This may seem extreme on my part, but many of you bloggers are aspiring writers. RockaOnline just landed a job as an editor of a magazine, which is the culmination of a journey he began from his blogging. I don't think his journey toward his dream would have ended so happily if his writing was riddled with grammatical errors everywhere... so take note.
If you have seen any other grammatical or incorrect word choices used repeatedly, PLEASE take this time to list them in the comments area so that we may educate our blog brethren.
I will start... Conversate is NOT a word. The word is converse.
Let the healing begin.