One of my pet peevs over the last few years when I was doing lots of product evaluations was the abuse of the word ‘unique’ by some of the sales droids I encountered. If you’re reading this now you know who you are, and well done for persevering with this blog, I know that I use some big words sometimes.
Unique is like the Highlander, there can be only one.
A product that is ‘very unique’ isn’t somehow better than being the only product of its type, which it would be if it was simply ‘unique’. In my view ‘very’ is a negative uniqueness modifier – like all the others.
‘Fairly unique’ isn’t good either. If a service is described as ‘fairly unique’ then that’s code for “we like to think that we’re differentiated, but in truth there are many like us”.
I notice that the US based Websters dictionary allows for degrees of uniqueness like ‘fairly’, which I take as an acceptance of common abuse rather than the correct English meaning of the word.
Filed under: grumble, marketing | 2 Comments
Tags: marketing, sales, unique