Today we’re talking about my number one pet peeve–unique. “Unique” means one-of-a-kind—as in unit, united, unity, etc. Romance language speakers will understand, too, because of its close relationship to the word for “one” in French, Spanish and Italian.
So if something is one-of-a-kind, it can’t be qualified with an adjective. Nothing can be “very unique,” because nothing can be very one-of-a-kind. It’s either one-of-a-kind or it isn’t. Nor can it be “pretty unique” or “sort-of unique.”
If it’s genuinely one-of-a-kind, use the word unique. If it’s not, don’t. Find another adjective, a more accurate one. And don’t say “very unique” anymore. You will hear it, and often, and may it slowly begin to bother you more and more. : )
When something happens once, it occurs.
It doesn’t reoccur. That’s not a word. It recurs.
So we say recur, recurring, and recurrence, but not anything else.
This shouldn’t be a chapter at all….
Anyway, here we go.
When we want to make something plural (making it more than one), we add an “s” to the word. The exception in most English words is when the word already ends in -s, -s, -ch, or something similar, and then we add an “es”.
I’m not going to speak of busses, buses, women or children here. That’s too complicated for this blog. I’m stayin’ simple.
Where we are goofing up is in adding an apostrophe. Where the heck did that come from? One tree, two trees. Not two tree’s. Simple.
One house. Three houses. One bird. Two thousand birds. It’s not that hard.
Apostrophes indicate that something belongs to someone. Try not to think about that when making something plural.
Bottom line: For simple plurals, add an “s.” Leave the apostrophes out of it.