Are you very unique?

Are you unique? That’s good. Are you very unique? Probably not.

No, I’m not suggesting that individuality is a bad thing. In fact, it’s a very good thing. And the word “unique” should be a very good word. Unfortunately, it’s misused so often that it is losing its uniqueness.

In simple terms, “unique” means “singular” or “one of a kind.” Only one. No others. No comparison. That’s why you should never attach a modifier to it. You can’t have something that’s “very unique” or “one of the most unique.” Either it’s unique or it isn’t. Period.

Why do we see so many instances of that wonderful word carrying unnecessary modifiers? I blame a lack of confidence. If companies (or the attorneys who are reviewing their materials) aren’t completely sure that what they’re writing about is unique, they soften it by adding a modifier. Don’t follow their example. If you’re not absolutely confident that what you’re describing is unique, choose another word.


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