I have this sentence as part of an abstract

Verification of space weather forecasts presents some unique challenges compared with other types of forecasts.

I go on to detail briefly what those challenges are. Now, these aspects aren't, in truth, entirely unique to this area, but are still much more of a factor than in other areas. I am trying to succinctly replace 'unique' with something more suitable.

I have toyed with 'peculiar' or 'idiosyncratic' but neither really appeals. 'Particular' might fit but I'm still not too happy with that.

Unique works because in the context because I think it also conveys a sense of these challenges being interesting, which doesn't come across so much with the other words mentioned.

  • 1
    .......unusual! Jan 24 '13 at 23:34
  • If you want to be "truthful", you can't use unique, so you could settle on Edwin's unusual. Or recast to something like presents some challenges not often encountered with other types of forecasts. But the whole question is really a matter of "creative writing advice", rather than a (not particularly welcome) single-word-request for a term meaning not quite unique, but nevertheless uncommon and therefore interesting. Jan 25 '13 at 0:18
  • Why do you need to modify challenges with anything? "...presents some challenges compared with other types of forecasts" is sufficient to convey the message that "Verifying [Verification of is verbose] space weather forecasts is different from verifying other types of forecasts". Being unique isn't a sufficient condition for being interesting: it may be a necessary condition, however. Verifying space weather forecasts is more challenging than verifying other types of forecasts seems to me to convey all that needs to be said. The challenges--the hook--will be listed in the text.
    – user21497
    Jan 25 '13 at 0:18
  • It presents some intrinsic challenges? Jan 25 '13 at 3:18

Maybe novel captures some of the meaning you're trying to convey? It suggests something out of the ordinary and interesting.

Verification of space weather forecasts presents novel challenges when compared with other types of forecasts.


"Extraordinary", "uncommon", "incomparable". "Rare" might also work here.


I would suggest that it presents some particular challenges:

2. Separate and distinct from others of the same group, category, or nature: made an exception in this particular case.
3. Worthy of note; exceptional: a piano performance of particular depth and fluidity.


Check the Merriam Webster definition. It seems there are multiple meanings for “unique.” It covers the gauntlet, from “unique” (one of a kind; like no other) to lower levels of uniqueness (on a scale from more unique to less unique): “Sole,” “unequaled,” “peculiar,” “distinct,” and “unusual.” Check the thesaurus for more. Is this the evolution of the English language, or a bastardization of the word through misuse by the masses? Webster even wrote a short paper below the definitions discussing this.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.