Date: Tue, 7 Nov 1995 07:52:11 -0500

From: "Dennis R. Preston" preston[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]PILOT.MSU.EDU

Subject: Re: "One of the x that has/have"?

Bracket this:

'This is the only one of the fictions which has/*have caused us any trouble

at all' (as opposed to ' of those dictions which have...). It seems

clear to me that 'semantic' facts can indeed 'disrupt' the over-simple

prescriptivist rule.

The 'only' addition demands singular agreeemnt

Dennis Preston


In a squib on Colin Powell (p. 35), this sentence occurs:

"One of the fictions that have grown out of the constant interviewing

of Reed and other arbiters of right-wing political correctness is

that Amerians vote for a Presidential candidate mainly because of where

he stands on certain clearly defined isues."

It seems to me that the semantic sense of the sentence calls for a

"One of the fictions that has" construction. If a student handed me that

sentence, I am certain I would mark it and have a little talk with her about

her soul.

How about it? Is the NYorker slipping? Or am I?

New Yorker is slipping.

On this subject, a lawyer friend has suggested that since the U.S.

Constitution bars

titled persons from holding political office, that Colin Powell is ineligible

for having been knighted by Queen Elizabeth.


Y'all again:

I was walking with another man a few days ago when an older, black man asked:

"Would one of y'alls help me with this?"

Seth Sklarey

Wittgenstein School of the Unwritten Word

Coconut Grove, FL