Hi,

The sentence below is from a book, and the character is trying to avoid an a sound because he has a lisp problem.

Plurals presented a considerable problem, but I worked around them as best I could; "rivers," for example, became either "a river or two" or "many a river."

1) Will you explain why this is correct. I think the correct form should be "as best as I could."

2) Is this grammatically correct? I have never seen a writing like this.

Thank you,

M
mitsuwao23, but I worked around them as best I could;

1) Will you explain why this is correct. I think the correct form should be "as best as I could." No, you can't say 'as best as'. You can say 'as well as' and 'as good as'.

'as best I could' is correct. It means 'the best I could'.

2) Is this grammatically correct? yes I have never seen a writing like this. Now you have.Emotion: smile
These quotations sound familiar -- is it David Sedaris, by any chance?
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They're pouring seawater into these vessels, as best they can, to keep it cool.

Leaning out farther and shielding his eyes as best he was able, the hotel owner could see that the street was cleared.

Plaintiff's lawyer Isquith says, " We soldier along representing our clients as best we can."

Mr. Bates's widow and daughter had been left to shift as best they could on an income insufficient to support even one of them.

Note: Google searches will turn up many examples of 'as best as..', but it remains a substandard formation in any kind of careful English.

...she said, flashing a smile that surely weakened the knees of many a Vanderbilt frat boy.

Many a politician has suffered when optimism collides with reality.

His image hung in every schoolroom and over many a hearth.

Eustace trudged on; he had many a mile to traverse, and ambition was his guide.
Thank you, Mister Micawber and canadian45, for your help.

cc: khoff,

Yes, it's from Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris,

M
mitsuwao231) Will you explain why this is correct. I think the correct form should be "as best as I could."

It's quite common nowadays for people to add that "as" trying to make sense of the grammar of "as best I can." Previous generations just accepted it; it's idiomatic (now) but correct. For an explanation you have to consult a historical or diachronic linguist. Anyway, "as best as I could" makes little sense; correct would be "as well as I could" or "doing my best;" "as best as I could" is redundant.

2) Is this grammatically correct? I have never seen a writing like this.

Yes, it is, but the language is changing and when my generation is (mercifully) dead, it will be correct to say "Being that I did as best as I could, my failure was not that big of a deal."

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It is an idiom. Many idioms are kind of slang phrases, which may or may not be technically correct.

In this instance "as best I could" is just a common phrase people use. That is what makes it correct.
AnonymousIn this instance "as best I could" is just a common phrase people use. That is what makes it correct.
While there may be an element of truth in what you say, I think you're missing the point.

With the pattern as X as, you can't have X in the superlative (-est) form.

best is like prettiest, highest, or most beautiful. These are not comparable.

as best as is therefore just as anomalous any of these:

as prettiest as, more prettiest than, less prettiest than,
as highest as, more highest than, less highest than,
as most beautiful as, more most beautiful than, less most beautiful than

So you can have as good as or as well as, but not as best as.

as best I could ~ in the best way that I was able to (do so)

CJ