about uniqueness

LV4-26

Senior Member
Hello,

Here's a sentence I wrote
The Festival's singularity lies in the way it combines the production of contemporary music concerts with an academic approach to the benefit of the Conservatoire's students.

And here's e2efour's comment on it.
[...]
I would, however, question the use of singularity. It may be a common word in French, but when I hear or read it in an English context, it seems to refer to black holes. I suggest What is unusual/remarkable about the Festival is that it.....
The original French version said something like this
[name of the festival] combines, in a unique manner, the production of......
It seems I've having difficulties rendering the idea behind "in a unique manner" (the sentence is inaccurately written even in French, by the way. Obviously the writer meant to emphasize the fact that it combines...., not the way in which it combines....).

Here's my next attempt
A distinctive feature of [name of the festival] is that it combines the production of contemporary music concerts with an academic approach to the benefit of the Conservatoire’s students.

What do you natives think?
 
  • JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    "The [...] festival is unique in that it combines..." would work, although there may be others that take the same approach so it might sound like an overreaching claim to uniqueness.
    I think "A distinctive feature ... " captures your desired meaning very well.
     

    LV4-26

    Senior Member
    "The [...] festival is unique in that it combines..." would work, although there may be others that take the same approach so it might sound like an overreaching claim to uniqueness.
    I think "A distinctive feature ... " captures your desired meaning very well.
    Thanks, JulianStuart.
    To be totally honest, I believe the original French version is indeed an overreaching claim to uniqueness. :D
    Only, the writer tried to make it less conspicuous by "hiding" it in an interpolated clause.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    You're promoting the festival.
    It would not be at all surprising, or questionable, for a festival to claim uniqueness, whether it's really unique or not.

    Unless you have a particular reason to be concerned about this, I think you should have no qualms about using a "unique" term.
     

    LV4-26

    Senior Member
    Thanks all.
    You're promoting the festival.
    It would not be at all surprising, or questionable, for a festival to claim uniqueness, whether it's really unique or not.

    Unless you have a particular reason to be concerned about this, I think you should have no qualms about using a "unique" term.
    I agree with that. My concern is not primarily about the words used. My main concern, as I said, is about emphasis. If I write "the festival is unique in that......", I'm using a sentence structure that makes this claim for uniqueness much more conspicuous or assertive than does the original structure. Actually, by using a softer adjective (distinctive), I'm only trying to compensate for that.

    If I could find a different structure that would attenuate the emphasis on unique/uniqueness (in the way it's done in the original), I would be perfectly happy to keep the original vocabulary.

    Thanks anyway. You people gave me all the elements I need. Now, it's for me to make a decision. :)
     
    Last edited:

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Ah, I see. I wasn't taking that approach into account :)

    So you'd be happy to include the word unique, but rather more subtly than "This festival is UNIQUE!!!"

    Here's a suggestion.

    This Festival uniquely combines the production of...
     

    LV4-26

    Senior Member
    Ah, I see. I wasn't taking that approach into account :)

    So you'd be happy to include the word unique, but rather more subtly than "This festival is UNIQUE!!!"

    Here's a suggestion.

    This Festival uniquely combines the production of...
    Ah, thanks Panj. If that sounds fine in English, it's exactly what I'm looking for (it's almost a literal translation of the original, actually).
     
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