U is for Ubiquity vs Uniquity #atozchallenge

Day U of the 2013 Blogging from A to Z April challenge. Today’s topic: ubiquity vs uniquity.

From Merriam-Webster:

  • Ubiquity: presence everywhere or in many places especially simultaneously
  • Uniquity: being the only one [perhaps not actually a real word]

As writers, we often have to strike a balance between the two. We want our stories to be original, yet at the same time we want them to have a broad-enough appeal to be widely read. Stay true to what you want to write and have a small audience, or write what sells and (possibly) enjoy commercial success?

For me, I’d much rather go with uniquity than ubiquity.

And saying those words (ubiquity, uniquity, ubiquity, uniquity – try it; it’s fun!) reminds me of a poem by French poet Jean Cocteau (not to be confused with French oceanographer Jacque Cousteau).

Le Toison d’or (The Golden Fleece)

Bouclée, bouclée, l’antiquité. Plate et roulée, l’éternité. Plate, bouclée et cannelée, j’imagine l’antiquité. Haute du nez, bouclée du pied. Plissée de la tête aux pieds.

Plate et roulée, l’éternité. Plate, bouclée, l’antiquité. Plate, bouclée et annelée ; annelée et cannelée. Ailée, moulée, moutonnée. La rose mouillée, festonnée ; boutonnée et déboutonnée. La mer sculptée et contournée. La colonne aux cheveux frisés. Antiquité bouclée, bouclée : Jeunesse de l’éternité !

(And in English – well, it doesn’t sound nearly as fun in English.)

Here’s the poet reading it in 1929:

Which word fits you better – ubiquity or uniquity – and why?

1 Comment

  1. How about something original with popular appeal?


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