Pleasanter or more pleasant

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Begonias, Oct 6, 2009.

  1. Begonias Member

    I wonder if the following is correct to say, an example sentence from the movie The lion in the winter:
    - Henry did you ever love me?
    - No.
    - Good, that will make this pleasanter.

    My instinct says that more pleasant is correct and not pleasanter. But I checked a dictionary and there I found pleasanter. I also found funest as in funniest in the same dictionary to my horror. It sounds so wrong to me but then English is not my native language. Can you shed some light over this?

    Kind regards,

  2. agway Member

    That makes it more pleasant/pleasing
  3. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    Another Country
    English English
    Pleasanter doesn't offend my eye or ear, Begonias. (Funner does, though, especially if it's actually spelt funer.)
  4. b1947420 Senior Member

    If you have found the word "pleasanter" in your dictionary then I am surprised because it sounds really odd to me.
    The noun is "pleasantry" plural "pleasantries" the adjective "pleasant."

    So the range of quality has to be "more" or "less" pleasant, not pleasanter.

    I am very curious to know which dictionary you are using.
  5. Begonias Member

    I don't know how to post a link but I'll try:

    I copied and pasted:
    pleas·ant adj. pleas·ant·er, pleas·ant·est 1. Giving or affording pleasure or enjoyment; agreeable: a pleasant scene; pleasant sensations.
    2. Pleasing in manner, behavior, or appearance.
    3. Fair and comfortable: pleasant weather.
    4. Merry; lively.

    Tell me what you think.

    Well my copy and pasting did not turn out well from my end but can you see pleasanter?

    My understanding from that dictionary is that one can say pleasantest instead of the most pleasant. Thoughts?
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2009
  6. b1947420 Senior Member

    Yes I've had a look.

    I don't agree that the word "pleasanter" actually exists.
    Let's see if we get a debate going over my stance on this.
  7. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    Another Country
    English English
    Your link is fine*, Begonias:) I really think that dictionary should say:
    more pleasant, most pleasant or pleasanter, pleasantest.

    As you can see from the above, it's a borderline case: some people will like pleasanter, some people won't.

    *Except for the 'GIFfy' bit, which you could go back and delete.

    I don't think it's going to be much of a debate, Alan: I say pleasanter, you say (erm) potato [joke].
  8. Begonias Member

    What is interesting here is that more pleasant, most pleasant is not even an option according to this dictionary. Interesting, don't you think?
  9. b1947420 Senior Member

    Fair enough!
    If a child or grandchild of mine said "pleasanter" I would be horrified and want to see the teacher. ;) Just joking (about seeing the teacher that is).
  10. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    I'm intrigued by b's antipathy towards the -er, -est option. Very often, with two-syllabled words, the {-er, -est} and the {more, most} options exist side by side.

    I would have no difficulty with pleasanter, pleasantest:)
  11. agway Member

    'Pleasant' is the "French" adjective. They usually don't take -er. -est option.
    Loob pokes around well established commonalities.
  12. b1947420 Senior Member

    This point did occur to me. This post might get chopped on a single language forum but there could be confusion with the French verb "plaisanter"
  13. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    I don't think so, Alan....

    Eng pleasanter and Fr plaisanter seem to me to have absolutely nothing in common.
  14. Begonias Member

    It is the great Katharine Hepburn who says this line:-Good, that will make this pleasanter.

    And she does not mean that this will be a (to) joke since he never loved her.
  15. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    Interesting comment, agway: can you elaborate?
  16. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    It will be a more pleasanter world when stylistic preferences, however dearly held, do not morph into flat declarations that an unloved word doesn't exist, and that if, by some freak chance, it does, it should be banished from the lexicon.

    All that said, softly and sweetly, I have never heard a native speaker say pleasanter, though I've seen it written, mostly in works over a century old.
  17. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    Here's a recent example of pleasanter, drawn from this BBC site:
  18. Begonias Member

    How nicely put chuchuflete.
  19. b1947420 Senior Member

    I should have been more clear. I'm thinking from the adjective "plaisant" somehow getting confused with "pleasanter."
  20. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    The British National Corpus has 40 examples, the Corpus of Contemporary American English, 25.
    Pleasanter exists. It is used. It doesn't ask to be loved. Fortunately.
  21. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    Another Country
    English English
    I've told her off about that before but unfortunately she's addicted to them.

    Pleasanter got umpty-three-hundred gogglehits when I looked earlier, if anyone's interested.
  22. Wayland Banned

    The phrase would be understood 100% of the time by 100% of the people I know.

    We can all have preferences but it seems to me since I joined this site that a lot of posters have prejudices. I mean no disrespect or offence to anyone.
  23. swellcat

    swellcat New Member

    Cowtown, Texas, US
    English - Southern US

    Or perhaps clearer.
  24. morzh

    morzh Banned

    Well, as in Carrol's "Alice" he used "curiosier", he also used "'It was much pleasanter at home," thought poor Alice, "when one wasn't always growing larger and smaller..."

    I also believe he used it on purpose.

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