Wednesday, June 8, 2011

This That and the Other Ones.

I consider myself well read.  Since I am an avid reader, I've found that my vocabulary, growing up through high school anyway, was far beyond my years.  Today it continues and I still challenge myself to find new meanings to words that I don’t know.  I also edit another blog for readability, accuracy, and content. 

Recently I decided to get into the debate of the usage of the word “One”.  My Goodness!  This debate of whether or not the word “One” can be used as a plural has been a debate for many of years. 

Many grew up with the old adage that “One” is singular, ALWAYS.  Not always.  There are exceptions to this rule, and it all depends on context. I won’t explain it fully; I just found it amusing that people will argue about this like it was Sex, Religion, or Politics!! 

Recently I said the phrase “these ones” and was informed that talking of such shows that I’m more common and basically grammatically incorrect.  Since I’m very proud of my literature background, I decided to see if I was indeed wrong and needed to work on my lazy common speech. 

I wasn’t wrong.  In the modern world, ONE is acceptable as a plural word in certain circumstances. 
Context.  Here is a list of sentences, removed from full context.  See which ones you think are correct!!
  1. I really like these ones
  2. Do you prefer the chocolate ones or the strawberry ones?
  3. Can you bring me the ones that are the most fresh?
  4. Are these ones to your liking?
  5. I would like to buy the ones that grow the quickest.
  6. Which ones do you prefer?
  7. He went home after work to his loved ones.
  8. These books are mine.  Where are the ones you bought?
  9. I’ll take these ones.

Many of these are in response to something that has been said, or in question.  The point being that One can be plural.  Actually, it’s my opinion that all are grammatically correct.  But perhaps 1, 4, and 9 are the most “lazy” or “common”.  If you are with your friends in an informal setting, I see no reason why any of these should get you brandished. 

Now, if you were at a more Formal setting, none of these should be used.  You would then say:

  1. I really like these.
  2. Do you prefer the Chocolate {insert whatever “they” are} or the strawberry?
  3. Can you bring me the {insert whatever “they” are} that are the most fresh?
  4. Are these to your liking? Or Are these {insert whatever “they” are} to your liking?
  5. I would like to buy the {insert whatever “they” are} that grow the quickest
  6. Which do you prefer? Or which {insert whatever “they” are} do you prefer?
  7. He went home after work to the people he loves.
  8. These books are mine. Where are the books you bought?
  9. I’ll take these or I’ll take these {insert whatever “they” are}.

While I may not be perfect in my speech, I was taught very well.  The fact that this has been a debate amongst many only proves there is not a right or wrong answer as to which is the most correct. 

Some may look down at me, but when I want you to know that I am specifically pointing to a certain object (ones), and then I may lapse and say “these ones” or “those ones”.  If that’s the worst of my speech, then just get used to it.  At least I’m not adding “s” or “ar” to everything like other regions of the Americas!! I live in Washington.  Not Warshingtin.

Context is so important.  Have you ever seen a phrase that states:  “Best Movie” When you know they may have actually written “Best Movie to excuse yourself after the opening credits and go to the bar”.  When we only focus on one aspect of speech, you miss the whole point.

I will write differently depending on my audience.  Technical writing, journaling, blogging, brochures, anecdotes and so on.

Okay, last thing then I’m off my soap box. 

Do you say Paella like the Spanish?  Or how it’s spelled out in English?  Do you take the origin of the word into thought when you use it in a sentence?  In Spanish, the two ll’s make a “Y” sound.  Do you say Pollo (chicken) or Polo (sport)?  Both are correct!  Or how about Burritos.  Do you roll your r’s??  Not everything is as consistent as it should be. 

I am just saying that with the globalization of our cultures, we are starting to mix languages and rules of grammar.  While these one rules may be more correct that the previous ones, I don’t think you should put someone down if they use a slightly informal or common speech.  I’ve heard it said that English is one of the hardest languages to learn.  It may very well be true.  We do not speak in structured sentences anymore.  Formal language has been replaced by more common usage. 

Okay, done off my soapbox.  It’s Wednesday and it’s Produce Box Day.  Hmm. . . . maybe I’ll take some pictures and tell you all about Full Circle Farms’ CSA box.

Until Next Time!!


No comments:

Post a Comment