Why I Hate ‘Unique’

Regular readers know how much I love to rant about ineffective word choices, so please humor me about ‘very unique’. ‘Unique’ can’t be modified. Ever. Period. Therefore ‘very unique’ is wrong, so is ‘somewhat unique’ and ‘really unique’.

And be very careful how you use it unmodified, like your ‘USP’ – ‘Unique Selling Proposition.’ Suggesting anything about your business is ‘unique’ – nothing else exactly like it in the universe – is really a stretch anyway. ‘Unusual’, ‘special’, ‘different’ … even ‘rare’ work, but not unique. Not likely. And who would believe such hype anyway?

So, when someone asks you ‘What’s unique about you?’ the correct answer is ‘Only my DNA and finger prints.’