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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Only Two?

ONLY; adverb; without others or anything further; alone; solely; exclusively (thanks Dictionary.com)

If we can agree that the word, "only," is often used for emphasis, where someone is stressing the relative specialty of a situation, how is it that this word can be so widely misused???

Too often the word is used to describe more than one thing, person, or event. Examples:
Only two teams have perfect records.
Only 90 million Americans are subscribers.
There have only been 72 burglaries in the last three months.

By definition, there can only be one team, one American and one burglary. I've seen this error in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and all over TV news/entertainment (same thing). STOP IT, please.

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