Blouse & pumps, Banana Republic. Jeans, Gap. Pearls, gift. Belt, Eddie Bauer.
I chose a basic grammatical issue today (cue the virtual eye-rolls) because it's Friday and I don't want to be that teacher who ruins your weekend with heaps of homework. We're taking it easy... I'm wearing jeans, for goodness' sake!
My head explodes when I read something like this: "more safe." Most people instinctively know to change that to "safer," but I'd like to address the grammar rules behind this choice. To make a long story short, you can form the comparative and superlative forms by adding -er and -est to short adjectives, and more and the most to long adjectives. SHORT adjectives contain one or two syllables and LONG adjectives contain two or more syllables. Whoa there, Nellie! There's some serious overlapping going on.
Two-syllable adjectives run with the hare and hunt with the hounds, so they're trickier. Many of these are considered long (more thoughtful/careless/famous/modern/charming/pleasant). The exceptions arise when they end in -Y (naughtier), -LE (simpler), -OW (narrower), -ER (cleverer). Cleverer?!? Are you kidding me? No, but you are not crazy in thinking that sounds strange and somewhat unpronounceable (30 Rock best illustrates this in an episode where Jenna's movie is called The Rural Juror and no one can understand what she's saying). Despite these rules and exceptions, there are some adjectives that literally play for both teams. Clever, gentle, simple, handsome, quiet, and friendly are the most common ones. Brits tend to treat these as short adjectives (I dare you to revisit your dog-eared copy of Pride & Prejudice), whereas North Americans find it easier to just add more and the most, pronunciation-wise.
NOTE: If you're new to my blog and this post has piqued your curiosity, you can find more grammatical issues addressed here, here, and here.