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Most established

Posted by R. Berg on May 26, 2006

In Reply to: Most established posted by pamela on May 26, 2006

: : : I have written copy for a print advertisement which ends like this - "... you can be sure to receive the right solutions from Australia's largest and most established quantity surveyors"

: : : Ad copy is not English literature. It is often gramatically incorrect and relies a lot on jargon. I believe 'MOST established' effectively conveys the historical significance of the firm we are promoting. I am seeking comments however, whether the term is could be perceived as nonsensiccal, and therefore inappropriately representing the firm.

: :
: : Grammar isn't my strong point, so I work on the "sounds right/sounds wrong" level. And "most established" sounds wrong because when I see the word "most" I want an adjective next, and if I don't get one, then I want to get a big fat red pen and cross out the word "most" and write "very" to see if that makes me happy. And "very established" sounds silly (because a company is either established or it isn't). So, in this round about way, I conclude that you should find some other way of saying "most established". Did you mean oldest? I assumed not, or you would have said that. Which is the other problem with "most established". Pamela

: Forget the part about a company either being established or not, I've heard myself say something is a "well-established fact" so there must be degrees of establishedmentness. Pamela

"Most established" isn't idiomatic English. You can say "best-established" (note the hyphen) instead, or something more immediately understood, such as "oldest" or "most reputable."