Distinctive: The Most Misused Phrase within the English Language?

Distinctive. It is only a phrase. One phrase. Nevertheless it’s a phrase that basically will get my again up. Corporations up and down the land use it prefer it’s going out of trend, and but it is extremely uncommon to see ‘distinctive’ used appropriately and in context.

Personalised present corporations love utilizing the phrase ‘distinctive’. ‘Distinctive presents’ and ‘distinctive presents’ are in all places. However I can nearly take it. Simply. I base this on the truth that as a result of you’ll be able to personalise a present, it might technically be a singular present. In any case, if London mayor, Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, had a gift personalised for him, there’s little or no probability that the very same merchandise exists together with his very same identify on it. And in equity to those corporations, additionally they combine up the time period ‘distinctive presents’ with ‘uncommon presents’ – presumably for each selection);

However by far and away the worst culprits are vacation corporations and tour operators, who often discover themselves in my imaginary dock for fixed misuse of the phrase ‘distinctive’. I discover myself charging them in my linguistic courtroom of regulation with being thick within the methods of the English language. If I am sat in a lodge’s restaurant, for instance, I doubt very a lot that I am absorbing its “… distinctive environment.” Now it might be that it has a stunning vibe, however until the author has sampled each different restaurant in each different lodge on the planet, they can not lay declare to this ‘distinctive’ really feel.

Likewise, if I am in my giant and opulent bed room, it nonetheless stays extremely uncertain that I am having fun with “… a singular sense of area.” Positive, there’s in all probability each probability I can frolic round its 55m2 sporting nothing however my socks, however am I actually having fun with one thing distinctive? Definitely not.

So let’s get this straight, as soon as and for all. If one thing is exclusive, it is a one off. It is one among a sort. Unique. The primary and final. The one. Unrepeated. Mimicked maybe, however by no means matched. The Nice Wall of China is exclusive and I do not thoughts seeing it described as such. Ditto St Paul’s Cathedral or the elephant man. Distinctive doesn’t suggest quirky, uncommon or nice. It doesn’t suggest strange. Actually, the one factor that makes the misuse worse is when somebody describes one thing as ‘fairly distinctive’, ‘pretty distinctive’ or ‘fairly distinctive’. It is both distinctive or it isn’t. There isn’t any);

So on this foundation, let’s use the phrase ‘distinctive’ appropriately. In any case, I am completely satisfied to embrace it if it is apt. I will not grumble or chunter if I learn it in the identical sentence as Machu Picchu or the Northern Lights. However I’ll get stroppy if I examine a singular alternative to personal a restricted version minted coin commemorating the royal wedding ceremony, particularly when half of them flip up on eBay.

Rant over.