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Unique

We’ve all had that friend who insists that her baby is really, really unique. However, unless there’s something truly exceptional about the child, your friend is probably just exhibiting an especially acute case of Proud Parent Syndrome.

INCORRECT

  • We visited a unique beach; it had sand, seaweed, and saltwater.
  • This restaurant had great food; it was quite unique.
  • Visiting my mother is an incredibly unique experience.

CORRECT

There is only one Mona Lisa in the world, and one Leaning Tower of Pisa. You are unique; as dear Mister Rogers used to say, “There is no one quite like you.” Something unique cannot be replicated. It is the only one of its kind. A thing or experience cannot be very unique, quite unique, or incredibly unique, because unique is unique. On the other hand, there is nothing unique about a beach that has sand, seaweed, and saltwater.

MEMORY TIP

The best way to think of unique is to remember its Latin etymology: one. There is only one; it is unique. Even identical twins are unique because their life experiences differ. With that singularity of meaning, suddenly one seems to hold more value. Wouldn’t you value something if it were the only one in the world?

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