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Superlatives

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Superlatives

This page is a varied selection of things that are characterised by ... superlatives.

Incidentally ... "superlative" is one of the most misused words in the English language.  How often do we hear someone say in the media (particularly the sports media), "I'm running out of superlatives ...", when they haven't actually used any superlatives at all? What they invariably mean is that they're running out of terms to imply excellence. You have to wonder if they think a superlative is any word that means something like "super" or "superb".

"Superlative", when used as a noun, refers to the superlative form of an adjective. All adjectives can have three degrees of comparison: positive, comparative, and superlative. For example: the positive form of the adjective "good" is "good"; the comparative form is "better", and the superlative form is "best".

A superlative doesn't necessarily need to denote that something is good. "Worst", "stupidest" and "slowest" are superlatives, as well as "best", "cleverest" and "fastest".

Take a look at the descriptions in the table below: we have "most", "commonest", "first", "largest", "longest", "highest" ... etc., etc.

You can also use "superlative" as an adjective, as in "superlative wisdom". But this is still not what the media morons mean when they say they're running out of superlatives – because they're clearly using the word "superlative" as a noun.

End of lesson ...

At the bottom of the page are a few things where the superlative – in other words, the quality that the named item is famous for – is the answer.

Annual European sporting event with the most spectators Click to show or hide the answer
Britain's commonest pub name Click to show or hide the answer
Britain's (and the world's) first Teletext service Click to show or hide the answer
Britain's first birth control clinic: founded by Click to show or hide the answer
Britain's first crossword Click to show or hide the answer
Britain's first frozen food (10 May 1937, by Smedley's of Wisbech, Cambs) Click to show or hide the answer
Britain's first iron–clad warship Click to show or hide the answer
Britain's first motorway (1958) – now part of the M6 – was a by–pass to Click to show or hide the answer
Britain's first supermarket Click to show or hide the answer
Britain's largest bell – housed in St. Paul's Cathedral Click to show or hide the answer
Britain's (and, according to some sources, Europe's) largest brick–built structure is the railway viaduct in Click to show or hide the answer
Britain's longest escalators (London Underground station) Click to show or hide the answer
Britain's most–visited tourist attraction (fee–charging) Click to show or hide the answer
Butlins' first holiday camp (1936) Click to show or hide the answer
England's highest (sea?) cliffs Click to show or hide the answer
England's highest public house (1,732 feet above sea level) – North Yorkshire Click to show or hide the answer
England's second highest public house (1,690 feet above sea level) – Cheshire Click to show or hide the answer
England's longest railway platform (1990) Click to show or hide the answer
Europe's largest city park Click to show or hide the answer
First actor to be knighted Click to show or hide the answer
First Archbishop of Canterbury Click to show or hide the answer
First ready–to–eat breakfast cereal (US, 1893 – corn flakes 1894) Click to show or hide the answer
First book ("first major book" – Wikipedia) printed in Europe (1450s) Click to show or hide the answer
First book printed in English (by William Caxton in Bruges, 1475) Click to show or hide the answer
First book printed in Britain (by Caxton at Westminster, 1476) Click to show or hide the answer
First Briton to die in a flying accident Click to show or hide the answer
The first building in Britain to have glass windows was St. Peter's Monastery, in Click to show or hide the answer
First charge card Click to show or hide the answer
First Christian martyr Click to show or hide the answer
First city bombed from the air (pilotless balloons, time fuses) Click to show or hide the answer
First cotton spinning factory: Cromford, Derbys, 1771. Built by Click to show or hide the answer
First English martyr Click to show or hide the answer
First Holy Roman Emperor Click to show or hide the answer
First human invention to break the sound barrier Click to show or hide the answer
First iron–clad warship Click to show or hide the answer
First motor show (1898 – held every two years ever since) Click to show or hide the answer
First novel to sell one million copies Click to show or hide the answer
First nuclear submarine Click to show or hide the answer
First person to ascend into the Stratosphere (51,000 ft, 1931) Click to show or hide the answer
First person to be awarded the VC (1856, for action in 1854) Click to show or hide the answer
First person to be run over by a train Click to show or hide the answer
First person to send a radio signal across the Atlantic (Cornwall to Newfoundland) Click to show or hide the answer
First person to swim the English Channel (1875) Click to show or hide the answer
First person to swim the English Channel underwater (US, 1962) Click to show or hide the answer
First plastic Click to show or hide the answer
First secretary–General of the United Nations Click to show or hide the answer
First singer to sell a million copies of a record Click to show or hide the answer
First sporting outside broadcast on television Click to show or hide the answer
First sub–four–minute mile Click to show or hide the answer
First test tube baby Click to show or hide the answer
First waterproof wristwatch – produced by Rolex since 1926 (many different models) Click to show or hide the answer
France's most common surname Click to show or hide the answer
The Keen Order of Wallerites (founded c. 1900) was the first Click to show or hide the answer
Largest and heaviest thing on land Click to show or hide the answer
Last person to be hanged for treason in Britain Click to show or hide the answer
Last prisoner to be held in the Tower of London Click to show or hide the answer
Last public jousts in England Click to show or hide the answer
Last Viceroy of India Click to show or hide the answer
Last woman to be hanged in Britain Click to show or hide the answer
Most–decorated US serviceman of World War II Click to show or hide the answer
Oldest chocolate bar currently on sale in Britain Click to show or hide the answer
Oldest person to become Poet Laureate Click to show or hide the answer
Old Honesty (1896): the first Click to show or hide the answer
Tallest man ever (Robert Pershing Wadlow) was Click to show or hide the answer
World's best–selling copyright book Click to show or hide the answer
World's busiest port (in terms of tonnage handled) Click to show or hide the answer
World's deepest known cave Click to show or hide the answer
World's driest desert Click to show or hide the answer
World's first free library (Manchester, 1653 – now a school of music) Click to show or hide the answer
World's largest bell, in the Kremlin (name means Tsar of Bells) Click to show or hide the answer
World's largest cut diamond (over 500 carats, in the British Royal Sceptre) Click to show or hide the answer
World's largest creature ever Click to show or hide the answer
World's largest civil administrative building (started 1983 under Ceausescu; not completed since his overthrow in 1989) houses the parliament of Click to show or hide the answer
World's largest office building Click to show or hide the answer
World's largest library Click to show or hide the answer
World's largest lizard Click to show or hide the answer
World's largest sculpture – in South Dakota – is of Click to show or hide the answer
World's largest tidal variation Click to show or hide the answer
World's longest canal (China: Beijing to Hangzhou - 1,115 miles / 1,794 km) Click to show or hide the answer
World's longest frontier (4,000 miles) Click to show or hide the answer
World's longest pleasure pier Click to show or hide the answer
World's most common forename Click to show or hide the answer
World's most commonly grown fruit Click to show or hide the answer
World's oldest zoo Click to show or hide the answer
World's tallest inhabitable building Click to show or hide the answer
World's tallest roller coaster is in Click to show or hide the answer
Youngest person to be awarded a VC Click to show or hide the answer

Waimangu, in New Zealand, is the world's tallest Click to show or hide the answer
The Carolina reaper replaced the Trinidad moruga scorpion, in 2013, as the world's Click to show or hide the answer
Tried out on the Seine by Robert Fulton in 1801: the first Click to show or hide the answer

© Haydn Thompson 2017