Simply put, the answer is no one. Why? Because, dear syntactical scofflaws, unique is one of those wonderful words permitting no degree of uniqueness. Like the word “perfect,” “unique” by its very definition, stands alone. To be unique or perfect is to be without peer or equal, to be unlike any person or thing. Therefore, there cannot be a “most unique” situation, nor can there be a “really perfect dessert.” Any adverb you may be tempted to add as a further description of “unique” or “perfect” marks you as a linguistic loser. Yes, you do hear people saying and writing these words in combination with adverbs every day, but that hardly makes them correct.
The next time you hear someone say, “Man, that was a really unique hairball your cat just tossed,” or “She had the most perfect nose after her plastic surgery,” feel smug that you know how to use these words correctly. There is always that subtle temptation, that siren song of language, whispering in your ear that you must amp up “unique” or “perfect” because, otherwise, your words may go unnoticed. Fight the seduction and stay strong. Unique and perfect can stand alone quite well, thank you very much.
Until next time…
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