Greetings grammophiles! It is summer in Indiana and time to relax, so I want to discuss something a little less mind-bending than "over-nominalization." About a year ago, we received an email question at the OWL about the comparative of the adjective "clever." Is it "cleverer" or "more clever?" The dictionary recommends "cleverer," but almost everyone I talk to about this hedges toward "more clever." I think it's because "cleverer" sounds like a car engine that doesn't want to start.
Anyway, most people have been reciting "good/better/best" since elementary school days, but I am interested in some of the more obscure comparatives and superlatives out there, like "cleverer." Here is a small list of adjectives that do not have an easy "gut feeling" answer. Ask yourself whether you would create a comparative by adding an "-(e)r" to the end of the word or placing a "more" in front of it.
Well, if you're stumped, you aren't the only one. I have actually learned a lot from researching this post. I have given the "recommended" answers in the comments section--just to keep you from cheating. As always, additions, arguments, or anecdotes are welcome (how's that for alliteration?).