U, like its good buddy, Q, is one of those letters that if you stare at it too long, it starts to look strange. Like really strange. Like it’s from an alien language strange.
U is particularly good at undoing things. It’s also understanding and ubiquitous, showing up everywhere once you look for it.
But out of the universe of U, I want to hone in on unique. It’s a great word that that has had its greatness flaked away by the frequent application of “very.” “Unique” is absolute. Something is either one-of-a-kind or it is not. It cannot be oner-of-a-kinder.
Unique’s another one of those words whose level of compliment can shift with mere inflection. “Oh, how unique,” can be said with a slick coating of condescension. Flip it, and it can be an exclamation of delight. “Oh how unique!”
Even though it’s a word that is or isn’t, is on or is off, without degrees in between, it’s a word of nuance.
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