I have nothing against the word different. Sometimes nothing else will do. For example, you might be tasting a fresh batch of headcheese, made from an old family recipe. “My,” you could say, “That’s different.”
But if you’re stating or even implying a number — twelve or two or a whole bunch — stop right there. Whatever those countable things are — bridges or sheep or charities — you don’t need to declare their differentness.
Consider these phrases:
- A dozen different bridges
- Two different sheep
- A lot of different charities
Those bridges had better be different, or something’s awry with the laws of physics. Same goes for the sheep, even if one’s a clone of the other. And if you’re calling the charities different, don’t ask me for a donation. If you’re wasteful with words, why should I trust you with money?