A lot of Minnesotans want to know: Is 'funner' a word or not?


"Is 'funner' a word?"

A lot of Minnesotans have that question apparently, and look to Google to find the answer.

Estately, a real estate company, used Google autocomplete to put together "hundreds" of questions that get typed into the search engine.

They then looked at which questions each state and Washington D.C. Googles more than any other. (So this isn't the most-Googled questions in a state – just the one that's Googled more in Minnesota than anywhere else in the U.S.)

Minnesota is apparently very grammar-conscious, because our result was: "Is 'funner' a word?"

Here's the map of results:

Wait, so is 'funner' a word or not?

Long story short: Technically it might not be, but it's used so frequently (as is "funnest") that most people agree it's acceptable.

The debate has to do with whether fun is just a noun – or if it can also be used as an adjective.

The word "fun" is first and foremost listed asa noun. It's a concept, a thing.

So under these rules you would say, "I had fun at the party."

You would not say, "The party was fun," because that turns fun into an adjective. It's describing the party, Grammar Girl explains.

For more than 200 years, fun was only a noun, Writing Explained says. But people started using it differently in the early- to mid-1900s, and began describing things as fun.

'Funner' used more frequently now

Over the past 35 years, Google's Ngram Viewer shows the term "funner" has appeared more often in books than it ever has (though it still is used way less often in books than "more fun.")

This embed is invalid

Dictionaries such as Merriam-Webster list fun as an adjective now, though it's clearly noun first.

Here's Grammarist on the debate:

"But while some of the stodgier English reference books still pretend fun is not an adjective, most English speakers moved on long ago, and the adjectival fun is rarely questioned. Ultimately, if we accept that fun is an adjective—and we have no choice, because it’s common—then we also have to accept funner and funnest."

So ... should you use "funner?"

It's probably fine in most cases, though if you're trying to impress highfalutin writers, you can't go wrong with "more fun."

Next Up

Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins saves the day again to get Vikings to .500

Cousins' overtime toss to K.J. Osborn earned a 34-28 victory.

Nurses on strike

Nurses start 3-day strike at Allina WestHealth in Plymouth

A "last attempt" at negotiations failed to produce an agreement last Wednesday.

boating minnesota lake

Minnesota has experienced its deadliest boating season since 2005

Minnesota has seen 17 boating-related deaths so far this year.

Drew Doughty

Kirill Kaprizov makes Kings’ Doughty eat his words

The Kings defenseman isn't a fan of the Wild star's new deal.

Quinn Olson / UMD Hockey

Watch: UMD's Olson goes between-the-legs to set up highlight goal

Another Saturday. Another highlight for a Minnesota college hockey team.

Gopher Hockey

Watch: No-call lifts Gophers to OT victory over St. Cloud State

A blatant hook marred a top-four battle in St. Cloud.

Ambulance hospital emergency

Driver killed after crashing into parked semi-trailer

The crash occurred on the 5800 block of University Avenue Northeast.

Mike Zimmer

Vikings-Panthers: 5 things you can count on happening

The Vikings will look to open things up in Carolina.