happier than usual / by Anthony Gibbins

happy, happier, happiest : All three are, of course, Adjectives. In grammatical terms, they are adjectives of differing Degree. The three Degrees of an Adjective (or Adverb, but that’s another story) are Positive (happy), Comparative (happier) and Superlative (happiest).

Marcellus est laetus. Marcellus is happy. Claudia est laetior quam Marcellus. Claudia is happier than Marcellus. Claudia est laetissima. Claudia is very happy. Claudia est quam laetissima. Claudia is so very, very happy.

The last is a rather loose translation, but it helps show the varying roles of the word quam when used in conjunction with Comparative and Superlative Adjectives. Used with a Comparative it means than. Used with a Superlative it simply adds emphasis.

Miranda est fortis. Miranda is brave. Miranda est fortior quam multi homines. Miranda is braver than many people. Miranda est fortissima. Maranda is very brave. Miranda est quam fortissima. Miranda is, like, so incredibly brave.

There is a way of using a Comparative Adjective without quam, and this is by tweaking the ending of the Noun-With-Which-The-Thing-Is-Being-Compared. (Is there a specific term for that?)

Claudia est laetior quam Marcellus. = Claudia est laetior Marcello.

Miranda est fortior quam multi homines. = Miranda est fortior multis hominibus.

For those of you who care to know such things, the tweaking of the N.W.W.T.T.I.B.C. puts it into the Ablative Case, and the new form is called an Ablative of Comparison.

Nearly there. solitum is a Noun, made from an Adjective, made form a Verb. The Verb is soleo I am accustomed, as in soleo in horto ambulare I am accustomed to walking in the garden. From this comes the Adjective solitus usual, accustomed, normal, as in via solita adveniam I will arrive by the usual road. And from this comes the Noun solitum what is normal, the norm.

solitum can be very useful when used with a Comparative Adjective as an Ablative of Comparison. For example: Marcellus est laetior solito Marcellus is happier than usual.

This morning (literally, today in the morning) our Marcellus rises happier than usual. For yesterday he sold the picture which was hanging in the Highlander.