
Re: Weird usage of "unique" (was something else)
Posted:
Oct 11, 1999 3:55 PM


In article <Pine.LNX.4.10.9910111157180.22988100000@titania.math.ukans. edu>, Fred Galvin <galvin@math.ukans.edu> writes >On Sun, 10 Oct 1999, Chuck Cadman wrote: > >> Given the fact that any permutation can be expressed as a product of >> disjoint cycles, it's easy to show that the only elements of order 5 are >> 5cycles (since 5 is prime). So you just need to count the number of ways >> that you can choose 5 distinct numbers between 1 and 7 and multiply by the >> number of unique 5cycles that you can obtain from any such collection. I >> think it's 7!/10. > >That's the right answer to the original question, but what the hell are >"unique 5cycles"? If they were really unique, their number would have to >be 1, wouldn't it? > >This bizarre misuse of the word "unique" (to mean "different" or >"distinguishable") seems to be a fad. How did this get started, and how >can we eradicate it? > Expressions such as "most unique" etc are Americanisms.
 Jeremy Boden

