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“one of the only”
Posted: 22 November 2012 03:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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So it was. Thanks, droogie and all, for your input.

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Posted: 16 January 2016 06:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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"It’s not too much of a stretch to say that some of the only people in America who are going to work the same job, in the same place, with a health and retirement package for 30 years are sitting in this chamber.”

I suppose when The President of the United States uses a construction in his final State of the Union address, it’s time to acknowledge that it is acceptable in formal contexts.

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Posted: 16 January 2016 10:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Here’s one that often puzzles me the more I think about it.

Panama is one of the only, if not the only, countries not to use post codes.

Would you interpret that to mean:

a) Panama, while not the only country not to use postcodes, is one of the few that doesn’t.

b) Panama is one of very few countries that don’t use postcodes, and may well be the only one.

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Posted: 16 January 2016 11:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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I confess I would say “he’s one of the only people I know who smoke during meals”  without thinking twice. Give me a drink or two, and I’d probably also say “he’s one of the only people I know who smokes during meals” without thinking twice.
I think just about all of us, at one time or another, commit what someone else regards as a grammatical solecism. After following wordorigins.org for several years, I was beginning to think that that’s one of the ways in which language evolves. Am I wrong?

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Posted: 17 January 2016 03:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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aldiboronti - 16 January 2016 10:02 PM

Here’s one that often puzzles me the more I think about it.

Panama is one of the only, if not the only, countries not to use post codes.

Would you interpret that to mean:

a) Panama, while not the only country not to use postcodes, is one of the few that doesn’t.

b) Panama is one of very few countries that don’t use postcodes, and may well be the only one.

b

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Posted: 17 January 2016 06:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Am I wrong?

No.  And I too vote for b.

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Posted: 17 January 2016 11:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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thanks, lh - that’s the kind of answer I like (easy to understand)

And to aldi - it’s b-2-4-me.  I mean it’s b-4-me-2.

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