Talk:winningest

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Tea room discussion[edit]

Note: the below discussion was moved from the Wiktionary:Tea room.

The definition claims the sports sense is "nonstandard"; what "standard" is this measuring? As far as I have seen, "winningest" is completely standard in sports reporting to describe someone (usually a coach) with the most wins. Google News has 3,500 hits for it.

My first response was to say that if not marked {{nonstandard}} it should just be marked {{wrong}}. But actually it seems this term is perfectly valid, and has been endorsed by various grammarians from 1909 ("Inflexional Comparison of such Adjectives may sometimes be used, as in — she has the winningest smile" -- [1]) to 2002 ([2]). So yes, the tag should be removed. Note, however, that *winninger is invalid by all accounts. A strange language, this. -- Visviva 08:37, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
Never having seen this most unusual word before, I came across it as the headline "Phelps winningest Olympian in history" on CNN Headline News, so I made a query here for it. Perhaps the Tea Room banner can be removed from this article now? __meco 09:52, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

Shouldn't we keep these TR discussions at the talk page for the associated entries? Is that our standard practice? I find them to be much less useful in archives. DCDuring TALK 12:15, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

US Specific?[edit]

Does this term get used outside the United States? I suspect this is a 'United-States-ism' - I've never heard of the word in Australia or Britain, and also have never heard of any word where a superlative ending is put on a present participle. --Ozhiker 16:07, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

You're probably right. I've never heard this in the UK, and when I first saw it I thought it was some sort of ironic joke. Where "winning" is used as an adjective (e.g. a "winning smile"), the usual superlative form would be "most winning". When talking about a "winning team", "winning" is a present participle rather than an adjective - i.e. a "team which is winning/has won". Adding "-est" treats it as if it is an adjective, and so implicitly changes the meaning of "winning" somewhat.
But language evolves, so if it's standard in the US it should be marked as such... Westmorlandia 20:23, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

All of the dictionary definitions of "winningest" I've found seem to cite US in some way so I'd assume that means it's an Americanism (that's probably not really a word, I realise)because I've never found it anywhere but American publications or tv shows. But I still don't think it should be used. People have been dumbing down English for decades (if not centuries!) but really, winningest? What's next? Bestest? Betterest? I think the process for admition into the dictionary needs to be reviewed.