Getting my damneder up

It occurred to me just now that something can be the damnedest thing, and something can be a damned thing, but I’ve never heard anyone refer to something as a damneder thing.

But I figured before posting about it, I should do a bit of research to be sure damneder isn’t in wide use.

And I found it in the Free Dictionary, in the entry for damned.

Well, fine, I thought, but obviously it wouldn’t be in a really good dictionary. So I checked MW11…which also mentions it in the entry for damned.

Okay, I thought, so even a reputable dictionary might decide that an adjective ought in theory to have a comparative form, even if nobody ever uses that form. That must have happened here; obviously they wouldn’t have any examples, because nobody uses this word. And sure enough, I smugly noted that MW11 didn’t give any usage examples for damneder.

So I went back to the Free Dictionary to demonstrate to myself that it too obviously had no examples…and I found that it does in fact list two examples.

First, from an article entitled “Romantic reverence and modernist representation: vision, power, and the shattered form of Let Us Now Praise Famous Men,” by an unknown author, possibly written in 2007:

In short, damned if you do, but damneder if you don't.

And second, from a 2006(?) review of Henry George's Legacy in Economic Thought:

He declared that Georgist thought was 'More damneder nonsense than poor Rousseau's blether'.

Dispirited, I poked around further online. Wiktionary put the final nail in the coffin of my disbelief in anyone using this word, in an example in their entry for damneder:

Moore replied “You are a damneder liar!” Both men reached for their pistols and in the quick exchange of shots that followed, Moore was killed.

(From a 2004 book, About our Evans roots: the ancestry and descendants of John Evans, 1798-1855, Cumberland County, North Carolina.)

So I am forced to admit that I was wrong, and the word damneder has been used by real people.

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