“Very Unique”

Have you noticed how that little word, “unique” is being banded around lately. It pops up in ads, news broadcasts, interviews and especially in the cult of celebrity. But now, as if to heighten the effect, not only is something “unique” but  “very unique” or “absolutely unique” or “completely unique.” Not easy to grasp this kind of thing. Surely when something is unique, that’s precisely what it is, unique. Why all the superlatives?

By the way, just a little reminder from Margaret Read  in the midst of all this  “absolute” uniqueness:  ” So remember, you are unique, just like everyone else.”


About Don

I love life. Sometimes it makes sense, other times not. Discerning its underlying patterns and beauty always provides great reward and meaning and is a passion I ineptly follow. I feel deeply attached to nature and love the sea with its distinct moods and colour and find walking along its beaches wonderfully inspiring. Writing, sketching and photography is a sheer joy for me and the blog is one of the places I am able to express these pursuits.
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41 Responses to “Very Unique”

  1. Susan Feniak says:

    I think the word itself is, just that, unique! 🙂


  2. Hariod Brawn says:

    Tautology abounds, as do the crassly overused superlatives you speak of Don. Thankfully, here in England at least, we have not yet succumbed to describing the merely moderately good as ‘awesome’, nor do we claim to be ‘really excited’ when in truth we have no more than a passing interest. My pet loathing in this country is probably the use of ‘robust’ as an utterly meaningless fill-in expression denoting nothing beyond an absence of having a decent command of grammar. Another one is the perennial ‘going forward’, as if the expression ‘in future’ had lost all meaning, or was no longer ‘fit for purpose’ – aagh, there’s another one! I blame corporate speak and politicians for most of this nonsense. Sorry Don, I’ve gone off on one; you touched a raw nerve!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. There is nothing new under the sun… Maybe new to me or to you, but really there is nothing new under the sun.

    Lovely post Don. ❤
    Diana xo

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dan Antion says:

    I’ve edited a bunch of documents that need the word before unique to be removed. There are somethings that can’t be made better. Good message Don.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Val Boyko says:

    It is tediously tiresome and outstandingly annoying Don!

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Unique is, or it isn’t, no degree. Therefore, no very, extra, extremely, or sort of, etc.
    My mother taught me that when I was in 3rd grade, and I’ve never forgotten it, Don. I passed it on to my high school English students, and I wonder if now, with all the misuse of the term, if they wonder if their old English teacher was a nut job. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Well I think you are “Extremely Unique” Don, and that’s a wonderful gift to us. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I’m with you on this! One of my minor irritations too and one which I, like Marilyn, passed on to my pupils. 🙂


  9. Darrel H says:

    Wow, you have quite a following Don. Very cool. 🙂


  10. nrhatch says:

    Haha. I think that there is a place for judicious use of the superlative of unique.

    A peanut butter and rutabaga sandwich is unique.
    A peanut butter, rutabaga, and sardine sandwich is very unique.
    A peanut butter, rutabaga, sardine and chutney sandwich is absolutely unique.

    And completely disgusting! 😛


  11. This was such a friggin’ awesome piece, Don. The totally unique comments that followed badass, cool, too. Thanks, Hariod for tautology. Great word. Had such a lovely laugh reading all of this.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. calvin says:

    A twist to this………..In a circus of words, UNIQUE, is the main attraction. People get over enthusiastic, perhaps wanting a word to swallow someone whole…………cirque du uniques


  13. Excellent point, Don. I’ve been reading about editing lately, and I’m sure the examples you gave would make the author cringe in agreement. Less is more in the literary world right now. I often catch myself adding unnecessary adjectives and adverbs in my first drafts.
    Blessings ~ Wendy


  14. Mary says:

    Oh my Don, okay I am so darn guilty of all the over-rated description of “uniqueness.” So my only excuse, I enjoy the spirit of discussion.


  15. Don says:

    Aren’t we all Mary. 🙂


  16. josna says:

    “Very unique” is a pet peeve of mine, Don, right up there with the (mis)spelling of Gandhi as Ghandi.


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