Friday, August 1, 2014

Your Grammar Nazi

Too many people seem to think "unique" is just a steroidal version of "special." It's not. Unique means one of a kind. Period.
The word "unique" is actually itself unique, in that it unlike any other adjective in the English language, it cannot be modified by an adverb. 
There is no such thing as "really unique" or "somewhat unique" or "almost unique" or any other adverb modification.
PZ Myers, who I'm sure knows better, writes:

"... they have a unique history of persecution (becoming increasingly less unique, unfortunately) ...."
Unique is a an either-or proposition. Something is one of a kind or it's not.  Nothing can be more or less unique.
It's not even that difficult to re-cast the sentence:
"... they have a unique history of persecution (that may soon no longer be unique, unfortunately) ..."

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