Monday, August 19, 2013

Things that piss me off: Modifying "unique"

If something is unique, it is the only one.  That's what the word means.  Yes, I realize that common usage has led many people to qualify the word and thus enticed dictionaries to add an alternate meaning along the lines of atypical, unusual. 

I don't care. 

We should not modify the word, nor should we misuse it.  Each of us humans is unique; until we have cloning, to the best of my knowledge, that is a correct use of the term.  We are not, however, somewhat unique, very unique, nearly unique, and, as I overheard a person say recently, kinda unique. 


Nor is your dog almost unique, your baby sorta unique, your idea mostly unique--all phrases I've heard in the last week.


Leave "unique" alone.  It's a lovely word.  Use it properly.  Let it do its job. 


Anonymous said...

Even genetic twins can be said to be unique due to differences in how they're carried in the womb and the (miniscule) variations in nutrition, to say nothing of environmental impacts once they're born.

Anonymous said...

Let me join you in your ire.


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