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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