As I know, a monosyllabic adjective is usually made comparative with -er, while polysyllabic adjective is usually made comparative with word more. The problem is that I found an article that uses word "more blue" to refer to something that is closer to pornographic material. Is this correct?

Romance is more nuanced here than the Shoujo style of "never been kissed", with its heroines often either unlucky in love, working through relationship troubles, or generally experienced. On the flip side, its more blue offerings (known as "Ladies Comics") can get steamier than even the most borderline Teens Love — harems getting sexual, pent-up coworkers, women with "pet"-like subordiates — with a subgenre even dedicated to adapting Harlequin romance.

  • Blue there means erotic. But it is not exactly very common.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jun 29, 2019 at 15:31

1 Answer 1


This is not a “problem” at all. English often follows conventions where exceptions abound.

I would reword your assertion:

a monosyllabic adjective usually can be made comparative with -er, while a polysyllabic adjective that doesn’t end with y is usually made comparative with the word more

However, just because a word can be made comparative with -er doesn’t mean it must be made comparative that way.

In fact, an Ngram shows that, although bluer and greener are more common than more blue and more green, there are still plenty of instances of the latter.

It’s also worth considering that many colors like green or blue can have other meanings besides the color itself (such as ecofriendly and pornographic). This might influence whether or not a writer believes that more red sounds better than redder in a certain context:

Since 2008, Texas has consistently become more red, not less.1

That all said, you wouldn’t want to use more or -er to make comparative adjectives indiscriminately. Some combinations just wouldn’t make good sense:

The company sold more few cars last year.
The company sold fewer cars last year.

Seattle is norther than Toronto.
Seattle is more north than Toronto.
(even better, I think): Seattle is further north than Toronto.

  • Actually, I know that some color adjectives sometimes are used in non-color meaning. However, the problem is "is that adjective in that meaning gets comparative in -er or more?"
    – Xwtek
    Commented Jun 29, 2019 at 21:44
  • 1
    It could go either way; e.g., see the article Building with a more durable, greener concrete, which says: The cement industry, however, has been working on becoming more green. There’s no right or wrong way to do this.
    – J.R.
    Commented Jun 29, 2019 at 23:46
  • so the answer is both.
    – Xwtek
    Commented Jun 30, 2019 at 0:16

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