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Saturday, December 8, 2007

How To Speak Nonsense

1. Clyde's is one of the only restaurants in Northern Virginia to offer vegan entrees.

2. I have one of the only copies of Mein Kampf in Urdu.

If you can't see what's wrong with these two sentences, you will be shot. Line up at sunrise.

This locution causes Livia actual pain. (As opposed to the virtual or literal variety, which will be dealt with at a later date.) Why? Let's take this slowly.

One. Only. Get it?

No? Shooting is too good for you. A month in a soundproof room listening to public radio fundraisers.

If ONLY = ONE, then "one of the only" is impossible because "one of the" implies MORE THAN ONE, genius. What you mean is "one of the few," if you're not brave or knowledgeable enough to say "the only." "Only" is SINGULAR, dammit!

You have been warned.

LIVIA DRUSA

1 comment:

Rex B Taylor said...

Only as an adjective also means few. It is not only used as a singular.