Brad Feld

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What Is “Very Unique”?

May 02, 2007

I did very well on the math part of the SAT but not as well on the verbal part (I did ok, but I was definitely more MIT than (or is it “then”) Harvard.)  Since the phrase “unique” crosses over nicely between the math and verbal sections it belongs in my Pet Peeves universe.

Today I was in a meeting where someone mocked the phrase “very unique.”  I smiled since I’ve heard this one so many times.  His next statement was “unique means one of a kind – that means something can’t be ‘very’ unique.”

I knew I’d seen an interesting rant on “very unique” on the web somewhere and I was uniquely pleased that Google didn’t fail me.  In addition to the “pro very unique” argument, I found some “anti very unique” and “definitive there are no very unique” people.

Don’t forget to get your domains straight.