Discussion:
only one
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a***@gmail.com
2018-06-09 02:08:58 UTC
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1) Only one is a wanderer. Two together are always going somewhere.

The sentence is from Hitchcock's 'Vertigo'.
Source:
https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Vertigo

I understand the sentence. But is it grammatical?
Is it idiomatic?

What does 'one' mean in that sentence?
Is that usage natural and idiomatic?
Could one find it in the dictionary?

I find the sentence poetic.

Gratefully,
Navi
Peter T. Daniels
2018-06-09 02:28:19 UTC
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Post by a***@gmail.com
1) Only one is a wanderer. Two together are always going somewhere.
The sentence is from Hitchcock's 'Vertigo'.
https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Vertigo
I understand the sentence. But is it grammatical?
Is it idiomatic?
What does 'one' mean in that sentence?
Is that usage natural and idiomatic?
Could one find it in the dictionary?
I find the sentence poetic.
Presumably the intonation of the first sentence makes it clear that "one"
is a pronoun, and it means "one person out on the moor" is aimless. Maybe
it makes sense in the context of the story. I'm not sure I've ever seen it
all the way through, but I do have an image of the vertiginous one at the
top of a spiral staircase looking down -- probably from one of the AFI's
"100 Greatest" this-or-thats.
Tony Cooper
2018-06-09 04:29:12 UTC
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On Fri, 8 Jun 2018 19:28:19 -0700 (PDT), "Peter T. Daniels"
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by a***@gmail.com
1) Only one is a wanderer. Two together are always going somewhere.
The sentence is from Hitchcock's 'Vertigo'.
https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Vertigo
I understand the sentence. But is it grammatical?
Is it idiomatic?
What does 'one' mean in that sentence?
Is that usage natural and idiomatic?
Could one find it in the dictionary?
I find the sentence poetic.
Presumably the intonation of the first sentence makes it clear that "one"
is a pronoun, and it means "one person out on the moor" is aimless. Maybe
it makes sense in the context of the story. I'm not sure I've ever seen it
all the way through, but I do have an image of the vertiginous one at the
top of a spiral staircase looking down -- probably from one of the AFI's
"100 Greatest" this-or-thats.
Bell tower, wasn't it?
--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
Snidely
2018-06-09 07:08:18 UTC
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Post by Tony Cooper
On Fri, 8 Jun 2018 19:28:19 -0700 (PDT), "Peter T. Daniels"
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by a***@gmail.com
1) Only one is a wanderer. Two together are always going somewhere.
The sentence is from Hitchcock's 'Vertigo'.
https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Vertigo
I understand the sentence. But is it grammatical?
Is it idiomatic?
What does 'one' mean in that sentence?
Is that usage natural and idiomatic?
Could one find it in the dictionary?
I find the sentence poetic.
Presumably the intonation of the first sentence makes it clear that "one"
is a pronoun, and it means "one person out on the moor" is aimless. Maybe
it makes sense in the context of the story. I'm not sure I've ever seen it
all the way through, but I do have an image of the vertiginous one at the
top of a spiral staircase looking down -- probably from one of the AFI's
"100 Greatest" this-or-thats.
Bell tower, wasn't it?
And near the end.

Spoiler: he doesn't fall down the stairs.

/dps
--
I have always been glad we weren't killed that night. I do not know
any particular reason, but I have always been glad.
_Roughing It_, Mark Twain
Jerry Friedman
2018-06-09 12:27:10 UTC
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Post by a***@gmail.com
1) Only one is a wanderer. Two together are always going somewhere.
The sentence is from Hitchcock's 'Vertigo'.
https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Vertigo
I understand the sentence. But is it grammatical?
I'd say it's non-standard. ("One alone" would be parallel with "two
together" as well as standard.)
Post by a***@gmail.com
Is it idiomatic?
Seems to me people do that kind of thing all the time.
Post by a***@gmail.com
What does 'one' mean in that sentence?
The way I understand it, "only one" is a short way of referring to a
situation when there's only one. Since it's a noun phrase, the speaker
also uses it as the subject of the sentence.
Post by a***@gmail.com
Is that usage natural and idiomatic?
Could one find it in the dictionary?
Not in a way that distinguishes it from "Only one [of those people] is a
wanderer," I feel sure.
Post by a***@gmail.com
I find the sentence poetic.
I imagine that's what the writer wanted.
--
Jerry Friedman
Madrigal Gurneyhalt
2018-06-09 13:40:27 UTC
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Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by a***@gmail.com
1) Only one is a wanderer. Two together are always going somewhere.
The sentence is from Hitchcock's 'Vertigo'.
https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Vertigo
I understand the sentence. But is it grammatical?
I'd say it's non-standard. ("One alone" would be parallel with "two
together" as well as standard.)
Post by a***@gmail.com
Is it idiomatic?
Seems to me people do that kind of thing all the time.
Post by a***@gmail.com
What does 'one' mean in that sentence?
The way I understand it, "only one" is a short way of referring to a
situation when there's only one. Since it's a noun phrase, the speaker
also uses it as the subject of the sentence.
Post by a***@gmail.com
Is that usage natural and idiomatic?
Could one find it in the dictionary?
Not in a way that distinguishes it from "Only one [of those people] is a
wanderer," I feel sure.
Post by a***@gmail.com
I find the sentence poetic.
I imagine that's what the writer wanted.
It seems an odd thing to do to analyse it this deeply without the context.

Here's the clip:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=cIScKkbZqoc
Jerry Friedman
2018-06-09 22:15:43 UTC
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Post by Madrigal Gurneyhalt
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by a***@gmail.com
1) Only one is a wanderer. Two together are always going somewhere.
The sentence is from Hitchcock's 'Vertigo'.
https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Vertigo
I understand the sentence. But is it grammatical?
I'd say it's non-standard. ("One alone" would be parallel with "two
together" as well as standard.)
Post by a***@gmail.com
Is it idiomatic?
Seems to me people do that kind of thing all the time.
Post by a***@gmail.com
What does 'one' mean in that sentence?
The way I understand it, "only one" is a short way of referring to a
situation when there's only one. Since it's a noun phrase, the speaker
also uses it as the subject of the sentence.
Post by a***@gmail.com
Is that usage natural and idiomatic?
Could one find it in the dictionary?
Not in a way that distinguishes it from "Only one [of those people] is a
wanderer," I feel sure.
Post by a***@gmail.com
I find the sentence poetic.
I imagine that's what the writer wanted.
It seems an odd thing to do to analyse it this deeply without the context.
I wasn't going for "deeply".
Post by Madrigal Gurneyhalt
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=cIScKkbZqoc
Thanks. So maybe it's "Only when there's one traveler is that one a
wanderer."
--
Jerry Friedman
b***@aol.com
2018-06-09 16:28:23 UTC
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Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by a***@gmail.com
1) Only one is a wanderer. Two together are always going somewhere.
The sentence is from Hitchcock's 'Vertigo'.
https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Vertigo
I understand the sentence. But is it grammatical?
I'd say it's non-standard. ("One alone" would be parallel with "two
together" as well as standard.)
The odd thing, IMO, is that "only one" should be in quotes, to denote a
noun phrase meaning "one being alone" as you said - precisely to
differenciate it from "two together", which is just a noun + a pronoun.

Compare the two original sentences with e.g.:

"Only one" is OK, but "two together" is better.

Where the quotes are needed in both cases, and "two together" is singular,
to denote a noun phrase.
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by a***@gmail.com
Is it idiomatic?
Seems to me people do that kind of thing all the time.
Post by a***@gmail.com
What does 'one' mean in that sentence?
The way I understand it, "only one" is a short way of referring to a
situation when there's only one. Since it's a noun phrase, the speaker
also uses it as the subject of the sentence.
Post by a***@gmail.com
Is that usage natural and idiomatic?
Could one find it in the dictionary?
Not in a way that distinguishes it from "Only one [of those people] is a
wanderer," I feel sure.
Post by a***@gmail.com
I find the sentence poetic.
I imagine that's what the writer wanted.
--
Jerry Friedman
b***@aol.com
2018-06-09 16:34:11 UTC
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Post by b***@aol.com
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by a***@gmail.com
1) Only one is a wanderer. Two together are always going somewhere.
The sentence is from Hitchcock's 'Vertigo'.
https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Vertigo
I understand the sentence. But is it grammatical?
I'd say it's non-standard. ("One alone" would be parallel with "two
together" as well as standard.)
The odd thing, IMO, is that "only one" should be in quotes, to denote a
noun phrase meaning "one being alone" as you said - precisely to
differenciate it from "two together", which is just
a noun + a pronoun.
Correction: I meant "a pronoun + an "adverb". (What was I thinking?)
Post by b***@aol.com
"Only one" is OK, but "two together" is better.
Where the quotes are needed in both cases, and "two together" is singular,
to denote a noun phrase.
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by a***@gmail.com
Is it idiomatic?
Seems to me people do that kind of thing all the time.
Post by a***@gmail.com
What does 'one' mean in that sentence?
The way I understand it, "only one" is a short way of referring to a
situation when there's only one. Since it's a noun phrase, the speaker
also uses it as the subject of the sentence.
Post by a***@gmail.com
Is that usage natural and idiomatic?
Could one find it in the dictionary?
Not in a way that distinguishes it from "Only one [of those people] is a
wanderer," I feel sure.
Post by a***@gmail.com
I find the sentence poetic.
I imagine that's what the writer wanted.
--
Jerry Friedman
Richard Yates
2018-06-09 16:49:23 UTC
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Post by b***@aol.com
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by a***@gmail.com
1) Only one is a wanderer. Two together are always going somewhere.
The sentence is from Hitchcock's 'Vertigo'.
https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Vertigo
I understand the sentence. But is it grammatical?
I'd say it's non-standard. ("One alone" would be parallel with "two
together" as well as standard.)
The odd thing, IMO, is that "only one" should be in quotes, to denote a
noun phrase meaning "one being alone" as you said - precisely to
differenciate it from "two together", which is just a noun + a pronoun.
"Only one" is OK, but "two together" is better.
Where the quotes are needed in both cases, and "two together" is singular,
to denote a noun phrase.
Yes, putting those in quotes does explain the structure just as it
would if you put them in square brackets.

But, that use of quotation marks is only for what would be a
commentary about the original that is being quoted.

There is no such use of quotation marks in standard English in a
reworking or re-presentation of the original.
Richard Yates
2018-06-09 14:58:54 UTC
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Post by a***@gmail.com
1) Only one is a wanderer. Two together are always going somewhere.
The sentence is from Hitchcock's 'Vertigo'.
https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Vertigo
I understand the sentence. But is it grammatical?
Is it idiomatic?
It is poetic, and shortened to be parallel with the second sentence.
Expanding it to normal syntax:

"One person alone is only a wanderer, but two people together are
always going somewhere."
Post by a***@gmail.com
What does 'one' mean in that sentence?
One person.
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