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Can the words "pivotal" and "paramount" be used with the word "advantage"?

  • The most pivotal advantage of remote learning is...
  • The most paramount advantage of remote learning is...

I know that probably other words can be more suitable, but...

Does it sound too awkward or quite normal?

2 Answers 2

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Firstly: in "The most paramount" the word 'most' is poor usage, as 'paramount' cannot be qualified in that way. (Either something is paramount or it is not, you cannot have one thing that is 'more paramount' than another 'less paramount' thing.)

Otherwise, both 'pivotal' and 'paramount' are fine in this case.

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  • can pivotal be qualified in that way, though? most/less pivotal doesn't sound right either... Commented Jan 10, 2021 at 16:47
  • interestingly, this ngram shows there are sound examples of all the four phrases ... Commented Jan 10, 2021 at 16:50
  • @AndrewTobilko It's never too hard to find examples of obvious miss-spelling's, as well as bad grammar. I didn't mention 'pivotal' as I thought it was a bit more controversial, but "Paramount" is very similar to "Ultimate", and while that word is massively misused (particularly in advertising) neither should legitimately be qualified in this way.
    – MikeB
    Commented Jan 11, 2021 at 9:32
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If you check this link from Gngram you will see that your phrases paramount advantage and pivotal advantage are not very frequent. At least not as frequent as expressions like

a pivotal role or of paramount importance

(You can find more examples at WordHippo)

With advantage, you could choose one of the adjectives suggested by Gngram, among which I think decisive or essential seem to be the closest to what you need.

However, just because Gngram finds rare instances of an expression does not mean you cannot use it. I actually found quite a few examples on Google, among which:

But ultimately, the most pivotal advantage came in the form of a clearer, more utility-focused view of customers that helps accelerate sales cycles and improve service. (from digitalistmag.com).

I also found quite a few results with the most paramount advantage:

The most paramount advantage to the use of transporters like PEPT1 and SMVT is the potential for increased oral absorption. (from an article on the ncbi.nlm.nih.gov site)

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