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I am monolingual. I failed high school French. I do, however, have the highest regard for proper usage of the English language, whether it be the King’s English or the American variant. I can accept aluminum or aluminium, neighbor or neighbour of any color or colour. I’m not sure how the D sounds just like the SCH in SCHEDULE in English English, yet it doesn’t bother me. (I should add here that I’ve likely forgotten many rules or failed to learn them myself- WHO vs. WHOM continues to vex me, yet I continue to strive for the unattainable goal of perfection.)

I believe that I, and anyone who (whom?) would inflict their words upon the public, should conform to the highest standards of usage of the English language.

So, you may ask yourself; where am I coming from, and where am I going to? (Ending with a preposition- Wassup wit dat?)

I shall now commence my rant.

I have noticed, in a variety of media, a most unwelcome increase in the use of a most unfortunate phrase- “one of the only”. I have seen it repeatedly in print. I have seen and heard it spoken on TV. I have heard the self-proclaimed “Doctor” Savage use the phrase on his right wing ranting talk radio show.

Help me, Doc- I have a problem. One may correctly say “one of the few”. Something may be one of many, one of a few, but never ever “one of the only”. The root of “only” is “one”. This phrase is precisely as wrong as “among the unique things…” “Unique” is singular, as is “only”. “Only” is, and must be by definition, lonely.

“One of the only?” STOP IT!

(Constructive correction is welcomed.)


"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesman and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do."

- Ralph 'Where's Waldo' Emerson

"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like. And I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."
- Bilbo Baggins

Related Items


The following comments are for "Only the Lonely"
by drsoos

and I thought it was only me...
the one that gets me is old advertising favourite "New and improved!" Surely something is new OR improved, it can't be both. Not simultaneously. I find myself getting inordinately upset about that, for some reason…

( Posted by: AuldMiseryGuts [Member] On: March 12, 2007 )

Penal Envy
I envy you. I struggle endlessly with the laws and flaws of the english language only to be rebuffed repeatadly by literary bullies who kick literary sand in my face. If only I had your grammarical muscle perhaps I could walk down the sandy beach of intellect with my shirt off and frolic in the limelight instead of toiling in obscurity.

( Posted by: kmrdgrs326 [Member] On: April 14, 2007 )

My mother often complains about the common misuse of the word "verbage."

I also find it interesting that the word 'illogical' was invented by Spock and wasn't actually a real word for a very long time.

( Posted by: snuffystuff [Member] On: August 24, 2008 )

@snuffy in less than a year
My research (a lil' google and a big dictionary) shows an origin of pre-17th century for 'illogical', but I'm certain that Spock popularized the word in the late 20th century.

I believe 'verbage' is a corruption of 'verbiage', that is, 'the use of more words than necessary'. 'Verbage' may combine 'verbal' and 'garbage'- a useful word indeed.

Thanks for reading, commenting, and for making me think.


( Posted by: drsoos [Member] On: July 21, 2009 )

When a baseball team has a record of 60 wins and 40 losses, why do the announcers always say they are "20 games over .500"..50-50, would make them .500. So they are 10 games better than .500. They are a plus-20, having 20 more wins than losses, but are not 20 games over .500.


( Posted by: Bobby7L [Member] On: July 21, 2009 )

Bobby's foul balls

Do they actually say that?

I must concur. A team with 60 wins and forty losses is ahead of a team with 50 wins and fifty losses is indeed 10 games ahead of the latter team, a 10% advantage. Perhaps such exaggeration feeds their needy egos, possibly they can't count, or maybe they just mindlessly read whatever copy they're given, or making the mental mistake of comparing a 60/40 record to a 40/60 record.

Why would you expect sports reporters to be more accurate than other reporters?.. say for example financial reporters and advisors over the past couple of years as a random example.

I cannot explain this distortion of information, unless I already have above.

Thank you for.. the baseball question.


( Posted by: drsoos [Member] On: July 31, 2009 )

..and why do they say "RBI's"?..It's "runs batted in"..That's RBI.



( Posted by: Bobby7L [Member] On: August 1, 2009 )

R's BI?
That's why.

( Posted by: drsoos [Member] On: August 2, 2009 )

Many hip announcers are now saying, "Manny had 3 RBI."..short for "runs batted in"..

Old habits..

"He's throwin' cheese."


( Posted by: Bobby7L [Member] On: August 3, 2009 )

drsoos gets it
We could use some soosifications.

( Posted by: Bobby7L [Member] On: December 28, 2010 )

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