Archive | Online Words

Unique is nothing but unique

Think you’re unique? Great! Think you’re very unique? You’re not. That’s because there’s no such thing as being “very” unique, or “somewhat” unique, or “more” unique than the other folks. The word “unique” is powerful because it has one meaning. Something that’s unique is “singular” or “one of a kind.” Only one. No others. No […]

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People don’t always see what you say

Years ago, a hospital decided to open a walk-in clinic to compete with local freestanding clinics. The hospital’s leadership team chose to call it an “ambulatory” clinic, because to medical folks, “ambulatory” means that an individual is capable of walking under his or her own power. Patients failed to show up, and the hospital didn’t […]

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More goofs and gaffes

A local magazine’s article about a coworking space included a number of amusing typos, but my favorite had to be when the author described the floorplan, noting “… comfortable booths and couches and desks with partisans to offer privacy.” Neither the writer nor the editor caught that one. Obviously, the author meant “partitions,” as in […]

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Is appropriate inappropriate here?

Frequently, copy contains words that don’t really need to be there. A great example is “appropriate,” as in sentences such as “once we review the information, we’ll take appropriate action.” That’s because saying “once we review the information, we’ll take action” is every bit as meaningful and effective. Since it says the exact same thing […]

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“Never mind” is two words

Singer/guitarist Kurt Cobain had a profound and positive impact on rock music, but I blame his band’s second album for perpetuating a spelling error that is becoming increasingly common. That album was 1991’s “Nevermind,” a title Cobain chose in part because he knew it was incorrect. How so? “Nevermind” isn’t a word. The expression is […]

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