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I was surfing on the web when I read the following sentence :

"Many TV shows today use animation and animation gives them that more of a unique look, allowing them to do more than what they could do with actors."

The expression "that more of a" seems unusual to me although I understand the sense.

Is that sentence correct?

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  • The sloppy prose: "That more of a unique look," should probably read: a distinctive look. – ScotM Apr 7 '15 at 23:13
  • Perhaps "more of that unique look"? This gets around the "grading of uniqueness", which I, among many others here, disdain. – Brian Hitchcock Apr 8 '15 at 8:52
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"them that more of a"

is an unfortunate reduction from this core which is shown at Google Books (not vanilla Google):

"them that much more of a"

Now,

"gives them that much more of a unique look"

roughly means:

"gives them even more of a unique look"

or:

"gives them something that is much more of a unique look"

or, simplified:

"gives them a very unique look"

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    'A very unique look' is certainly pushing it. Unique is an absolute adjective. 'That much more of a unique look' sounds more acceptable, as a paraphrase of 'a more nearly unique look'. – Edwin Ashworth Apr 7 '15 at 21:32
  • @Edwin Ashworth Surely, anything added to "unique" is a no-no in classical/classicist terms:-) – Marius Hancu Apr 7 '15 at 21:35
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    @EdwinAshworth The sentence quoted is a most tortuous piece of text, and would barely be acceptable from an eleven-year-old. The grading of unique is the least of its sins, in my view. Like me you probably got told at school that something was either unique or not unique. But it does tend to be a gradable adjective these days. – WS2 Apr 7 '15 at 21:39
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    Prescriptivist (although they don't need to be disjoint). You are usually the first to protest when the old values seem about to disappear. I think this is one worth making a minor stand for. The uniqueness of 'unique'. Sounds good. We've already got words meaning 'remarkable' and 'unusual'. – Edwin Ashworth Apr 7 '15 at 22:33
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    @ScotM I usually accept the inevitable populist moves in English, but I've got a traditionalist bone or two left. – Edwin Ashworth Apr 7 '15 at 23:44

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