Do you really know what you are talking about?
Three words easily “tell” on us, because they are so often misused.
Today being a football Sunday, we may hear the word used mistakenly more than any other day, because sports announcers seem to do it the most.
We’ll hear: A running back is “very unique.”
Or a team is “the most unique.”
Or a coach is “so unique.”
There is no such thing as being “very unique” or “so unique” or “most unique.” That would be like saying the universe is “so universe” or “very universe” or “most universe.”
There is only one universe. That’s it. It can’t be qualified–it can’t be modified. No adjectives, no adverbs. It is the only one of its kind. Nothing else exists in its category. It’s “THE” universe. That’s it.
The “uni” in “universe” may clue us to the meaning of “uni-que.”
If something is unique, that means it is the only one of its kind. Nothing else exists in its category. It can not be “so” unique or “very” unique or “highly” unique.
If a sportscaster wants to say, “This running back is very unique”–the meaning probably is NOT unique (which would mean there is no other running back like him in existence. Not even Gayle Sayers–because there’s Walter Payton.) Rather, the sportscaster likely means, “This running back is very original.”
A baseball player is said to have a “very unique swing.” The meaning is likely: “an original swing.” Or a “very individualistic swing.” But if it’s unique–that’s it. There’s nothing else like it. “His swing is unique.” No modifiers, no qualifiers–no adjectives, no adverbs.
Two other words commonly mis-used are: “theory” and “myth.”
As in…”Darwin’s theory is ONLY a theory.”
And “Noah’s Flood is a myth.”
To be continued.