February 17, 2019
I wouldn’t want to become obsessive about grammar, but there are one or two things that drive me crazy. For example, what about the confusion between ‘there’, ‘they’re’, and ‘their’; or ‘where’, ‘wear’, and ‘we’re’? And then there’s the problem with rogue apostrophes. I heard about a guy who goes round correcting signs, adding or deleting apostrophes. That’s a little excessive. It doesn’t help, of course, that the English language is dynamic, not static, and that there are differences from one side of the Pond to the other. Nathan used to try to get away with creative spelling by telling his teachers, “That’s how we spell it in England.” Nice try.
Words have meaning. That meaning may change over the centuries, to be sure, but that doesn’t give us the right to reinterpret words to suit ourselves. Take the word ‘unique’, for example. I heard a salesman on TV, trying to sell a product he claimed was unique. But, given that he was selling more than one of them, the product really shouldn’t have been described in that way. Increasingly, people are using ‘unique’ when they mean ‘unusual’ or ‘special’. To be unique, however, means to be ‘one of a kind’. The word entered English from the French language, which had borrowed it from the Latin ‘unicus’ meaning single or sole.
Isaiah tells us that there is no one else like the God of Israel. No one compares to Him; He has no equal. When it comes to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ it is entirely appropriate to describe Him as ‘unique’. And, as for the Son – no-one comes to the Father, except by Him.