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Old 30th April 2016, 11:43   #2491
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Default Re: A YetiGuideŽ : How To Post In Proper English

In this context it sounds wrong. I prefer"one of the few" myself. But Thad the English has spoken!
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Old 30th April 2016, 11:58   #2492
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Default Re: A YetiGuideŽ : How To Post In Proper English

Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
In this context it sounds wrong. I prefer"one of the few" myself. But Thad the English has spoken!
The few stocks that rose that day is referred to as the 'only stocks in the DJIA to rise'. And Apple was one this list. Hence 'one of the only stocks to rise' seems perfectly fine. 'Only stocks' refers to a single list.
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Old 30th April 2016, 12:20   #2493
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Default Re: A YetiGuideŽ : How To Post In Proper English

Quote:
Originally Posted by reverse_gear View Post
This is from an article in Fortune magazine's website.



Have seen this in regular usage, and it sounds terribly wrong. This really confuses the hell out of me - how can something be "one of" and also "the only" at the same time? No idea, and I am guessing the author wants us to remain in suspended animation about the meaning (probably because he does not know himself).

Expressions like this have crept in as part of management jargon, wherein people don't want to be specific about the meaning.
You need to look at it in a nested manner.
Superset of all stocks -> subset of "only" a few which did well -> "one" of those few was apple.
SO, all he is trying to convey is that apple stocks rose, despite most stocks declining. Others rose too, but he is pointing out just Apple from those.

Last edited by mayankk : 30th April 2016 at 12:25.
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Old 30th April 2016, 16:08   #2494
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Default Re: A YetiGuideŽ : How To Post In Proper English

That is what it means, but pure idiom does not necessarily give easily to analysis: sometimes it defies it!

Who know... maybe it is one of the many things in language that did start out as a mistake and then gained acceptance.

If in doubt or discomfort, follow noopster's advice and go with One of the few. Actually, I think I will!
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Old 30th April 2016, 18:01   #2495
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Default Re: A YetiGuideŽ : How To Post In Proper English

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Originally Posted by mayankk View Post
You need to look at it in a nested manner.
Superset of all stocks -> subset of "only" a few which did well -> "one" of those few was apple.
SO, all he is trying to convey is that apple stocks rose, despite most stocks declining. Others rose too, but he is pointing out just Apple from those.
Exactly my thoughts. However, I'm more comfortable with noopster's preference.
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Old 1st May 2016, 09:18   #2496
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Default Re: A YetiGuideŽ : How To Post In Proper English

What a splendid thread! And for 60+somethings like me, what better way to keep one pleasantly occupied. Nit-pickers may well say 'much ado about nothing', but I'm all for this great pastime in semantics and hair-splitting!
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Old 1st May 2016, 14:42   #2497
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Default Re: A YetiGuideŽ : How To Post In Proper English

We try, apart from the academic hair splitting, to get people to use the right words for the right things, but I'm afraid that most people don't even think of visiting this thread.

Here's one seen recently: that some problem had been "solved and resolved"

A problem certainly can be resolved, but, sadly, the context suggested that the author thinks that the word can mean solved again.
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Old 2nd May 2016, 09:25   #2498
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankk View Post
You need to look at it in a nested manner.
Superset of all stocks -> subset of "only" a few which did well -> "one" of those few was apple.
SO, all he is trying to convey is that apple stocks rose, despite most stocks declining. Others rose too, but he is pointing out just Apple from those.

As you have yourself said, subset is "only a few" and not "the only". So he should have said "one of only a few".

"The only" indicates subset is one stock. In which case "one of the only" Is meaningless.
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Old 2nd May 2016, 15:27   #2499
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Default Re: A YetiGuideŽ : How To Post In Proper English

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Originally Posted by reverse_gear View Post
"The only" indicates subset is one stock. In which case "one of the only" Is meaningless.
I might have lost the thread here but... No, it is not meaningless: it means that there was more than one but not very many, and is simply an accepted idiom.

Thinking about idiom and how it may defy analysis, or even logic, led me to consider Could care less. To a British-English speaker, this is mind-bendingly wrong, and the opposite of what is intended. An American-English speaker might say that it is an accepted idiom. In American English, I suppose it now is!

Here's something that I noticed today: "I wonder how much truth there is in that?" Surely, the thing must be true or false! But we still speak of how much truth! An oddity of the language.
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Old 2nd May 2016, 15:35   #2500
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Default Re: A YetiGuideŽ : How To Post In Proper English

Quote:
Originally Posted by reverse_gear View Post
As you have yourself said, subset is "only a few" and not "the only". So he should have said "one of only a few".

"The only" indicates subset is one stock. In which case "one of the only" Is meaningless.
It is looking odd because 'only' seemingly is referring to 'stocks' in plural. It is not so - 'only' refers to the subset 'stocks that rose in the DJIA' and hence is correct. Between 'one of the few' and 'one of the only', the impact of the sentence changes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post

Here's something that I noticed today: "I wonder how much truth there is in that?" Surely, the thing must be true or false! But we still speak of how much truth! An oddity of the language.
And there is something else that I noticed in the above sentence - a question mark is not required

Last edited by mallumowgli : 2nd May 2016 at 15:37.
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Old 2nd May 2016, 16:12   #2501
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mallumowgli View Post
It is looking odd because 'only' seemingly is referring to 'stocks' in plural. It is not so - 'only' refers to the subset 'stocks that rose in the DJIA' and hence is correct. Between 'one of the few' and 'one of the only', the impact of the sentence changes.

Please note it is not just "only", it is "THE only". In the current usage, "the only" should not mean anything other than a subset of one. I don't think the writer is attempting verbal pyrotechnics of subsets of stocks going up or down in the DJIA. Let's be honest, if that were to be the case, every single stock would be either "one of the only stocks that rose in the DJIA" or "one of the only stocks that fell in the DJIA". Because each stock would belong to one of the two subsets! God bless us if reportage has achieved such holy grail levels of obfuscation! Me feeling is the same as @noopster, he should have stuck to "one of only few".
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Old 2nd May 2016, 18:31   #2502
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Default Re: A YetiGuideŽ : How To Post In Proper English

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
....
....
Here's something that I noticed today: "I wonder how much truth there is in that?" Surely, the thing must be true or false! But we still speak of how much truth! An oddity of the language.
There can be a case where a person gives an account of the things that led to a bad fight where, eventually, a life was lost.
In such a case I could well wonder how much truth there is in the account narrated to me. Some of the series of events could be true, some lies and some purely figments of his imagination.

Used in this context, is the phrase still an oddity of the language?
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Old 2nd May 2016, 19:16   #2503
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Default Re: A YetiGuideŽ : How To Post In Proper English

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Originally Posted by anupmathur View Post
Used in this context, is the phrase still an oddity of the language?
Perhaps not. Perhaps I am overthinging this one. Sometimes everything looks odd!

Quote:
Originally Posted by reverse_gear View Post
Please note it is not just "only", it is "THE only".
Please note that it is not "the only," it is "ONE OF the only"
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Old 3rd May 2016, 09:35   #2504
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Default Re: A YetiGuideŽ : How To Post In Proper English

I can understand faults in grammar, or spellings. What about the commonest sense?
"Vitamin D overdose kills 10-year-old at AIIMS Delhi
A 10-year-old boy recently died at AIIMS hospital in Delhi due to vitamin D overdose. The boy reportedly consumed six lakh tablets as against the advised limit of 1,000, which caused his death. Doctors in AIIMS said the boy was asked to consume vitamin D tablets for 21 days straight. However, the supplement level shot up to 30 times more than the normal level
"
Source

PS: Not pointed at the tragedy, mind you, but at the literate reporter.
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Old 4th May 2016, 07:08   #2505
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Default Re: A YetiGuideŽ : How To Post In Proper English

The print media is taking its toll on me; I am beginning to doubt things I learnt at school!
Does one resign a post/job or does one resign from a post/job?
I was taught to say "...resigned from the post of secretary general (or whatever)".
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