When to Use Unique
Is it really unique?
Have you ever heard someone say "very unique"? Did it sound strange? Unique, which
means "the only one of its kind," is an "uncomparable adjective." It describes "an
absolute state or condition" like pregnant. Therefore, it should not be given a comparative
descriptor, which measures people and things to identify similarities and differences.
For example, unique should not have a comparative suffix such as -
If something, for example a circumstance or an offer, is not unique (i.e., one of a kind), then a more appropriate word might be exceptional, exclusive, rare, special, or unusual.
The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, The University of Chicago Press (2003)
© 2014 Katherine Williams. All rights reserved.
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