> In article <Pine.LNX.firstname.lastname@example.org. > edu>, Fred Galvin <email@example.com> writes > > > >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.
The point is that the use of unique to mean merely uncommon has increased dramatically recently. It is a definition in my dictionary, so people had made the mistake before, but I blame whatever ad agency Jack-in-the-Box hired. I think commercials are intentionally made slightly incorrect so that they will stick in people's minds.
One could just point and laugh, but this is unlikely to stop the epidemic. (Does anyone else still pronounce the nonmusical "forte" by the first or only pronounciation in most dictionaries?) A few years down the road your students will insist your definition of unique is wrong, and will sue for their tuition to be returned.