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Grammar Grappler #28: Very Unique?

“Halleigh, the spelling of your name is very unique.”

“She had a very unique way of expressing frustration.”

“The author took a most unique approach to revealing the murderer at the end of the mystery novel.”

Very unique?

Most unique?

Very unique is another phrase we should send to the Redundancy Department of Redundancy. Why? Unique actually means “unlike anything else.” It’s unique. Period. It is unnecessary to modify it with words like very and most. According to its definition, you can’t have varying degrees of uniqueness. Something can’t be a little unique or a lot unique or very unique. It’s unique—just like a rainbow unicorn.

 

To customize a keynote or professional development session that will have your audience laughing and learning, contact Mandi Stanley.

Certified Speaking Professional Mandi Stanley works with business leaders who want to boost their professional image by becoming better speakers and writers through interactive high-content keynotes, breakout sessions, workshops, technical writing seminars, and fun proofreading classes. 

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Photo by mark glancy from Pexels

Grammar Grappler #26: Is it “free rein” or “free reign”?

A fellow Amory Panther brought this confusing word pair to my attention through Facebook. Let’s see how well you choose the correct word in this sentence: Read more

Grammar Grappler #14: Deciding Between That and Which

Time for a quick pop quiz. Please choose the correct word for each of these sentences. Read more

Grammar Grappler #9: Just Deserts vs. Just Desserts

Nooooooooo. I can’t believe I have been using this wrong expression my entire life. Surely I’m not alone on this one. How would you fill in the blank in this sentence? Read more

Grammar Grappler #6: A Corny Way to Remember i.e. and e.g.

“What do i.e., and e.g., mean?” Read more

Grammar Grappler #5: Readers Share Mispronunciations

Last week I shared a word I found out I had been saying incorrectly for more than four decades: 

Sherbet

After telling my “sher-bert” story, I asked you to chime in with similar examples. You did not disappoint! We’ve had so much fun these past few days sharing some hilarious stories and examples, and I appreciate all of your input.

For fun, I’m sharing a few of the most common mispronounced terms according to the blog’s readership. See if you can relate.

One reader shared she recently had a coworker take her aside and say, “You know, it’s ‘for all intents and purposes,’ not ‘for all intensive purposes.’”

NO: for all intensive purposes

YES: for all intents and purposes

Another reader said he still calls his bedroom furniture “chester drawers,” even though he knows better now.

NO: chester drawers

YES: chest of drawers

Last Friday I spoke at a statewide association of REALTORS® leadership retreat. They were the first to speak up and give examples of how many people mispronounce their job title. It’s two syllables, not three.

NO: re-la-tor

YES: REAL-TOR

And who can forget Joey Tribbiani’s classic mispronunciation of “supposably” on Friends.

NO: supposably

YES: supposedly

Let’s keep this thread going. I’m sure you have other relatable examples you can share—at least, supposedly.

 

To customize a keynote or professional development session that will have your audience laughing and learning, contact Mandi Stanley.

Certified Speaking Professional Mandi Stanley works with business leaders who want to boost their professional image by becoming better speakers and writers through interactive high-content keynotes, breakout sessions, workshops, technical writing seminars, and fun proofreading classes. 

You might also like:

How Do You Handle Virtual Meeting Whiners?

Use this App to Capture Fresh Presentation Ideas

Wacky Word of the Week: Purge this Particular Word

To customize a keynote or professional development session that will have your audience laughing and learning, contact Mandi Stanley.

Certified Speaking Professional Mandi Stanley works with business leaders who want to boost their professional image by becoming better speakers and writers through interactive high-content keynotes, breakout sessions, workshops, technical writing seminars, and fun proofreading classes. 

You might also like:

How Do You Handle Virtual Meeting Whiners?

Use this App to Capture Fresh Presentation Ideas

Wacky Word of the Week: Purge this Particular Word

Photo by Sudan Ouyang on Unsplash

Grammar Grappler #4: Sherbet

For four decades, I have been mispronouncing this word. Read more

Grammar Grappler 3: Peak or Peek?

I still lose sleep over an executive tips book I wrote in 1999 where in the 13th chapter I recommend presenters take a “sneak peak” at their notes whenever needed. Read more

Grammar Grappler 2: Presidents Day, President’s Day, Presidents’ Day

Behind-the-scenes note: I write on Monday and publish on Wednesday, so I’m penning this on the third Monday in February, otherwise known as Presidents’ Day. Or is it Presidents Day? Or President’s Day. Read more