Dear Evan: Is “moreso” a word? I can’t find it in my dictionaries; my spell-checker doesn’t like it, but I’ve been reading and hearing it everywhere recently. Two examples from the one page of the sports section: ” … and he is confident the ‘96 Braves, moreso than the ‘72 Braves will embrace a teenager.” “Shrouded this time by closer Mark Wohlers’ franchise-record 31st save moreso than John Smoltz’s seamless season, ….” —R. Duvall, via the Internet.
Your spell checker is not alone. I not only don’t like “moreso,” I don’t understand why anyone would write that way. If you had supplied only one example, I’d have said that it was almost certainly a typographical error, but if “moreso” is truly suddenly commonplace, I am deeply alarmed. Mutant words seem to be springing up in the sports section.
I should call a time-out at this point and mention that I am absolutely, utterly sports-illiterate, and have never read the sports section of any newspaper. Ever. Really. True, I did manage the baseball, hockey and soccer teams in high school, but my duties in each case had only a marginal relationship to the particular sport per se. My primary duty to the soccer team, for instance, seemed to be to warn our coach if I spotted the Headmaster coming, so he would have time to put away his flask. My role in the grand scheme of the hockey team, on the other hand, consisted largely of driving newly-toothless players to the Emergency Room. I became awesomely proficient in filling out hospital forms and calming distraught parents.
But I digress. You say that you have been reading and hearing “moreso” everywhere. Hearing it doesn’t bother me — after all, “more so” (two words) is a perfectly respectable construction meaning “to a greater extent than.” Radio and television “sportscasters” slurring the two words together doesn’t surprise me. Sportswriters jamming “more” and “so” together into one word repeatedly in print, however, is a bad idea. What about its opposite construction, “less so”? Are we now to glop these together into “lesso”? Soon we’ll be facing “inorderto” and “inspiteof,” not to mention “nottomention.” Welcome to Mars. Somebody hand me that flask.
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