One are the loneliest number

  • One in four kids are malnourished.

This is a sad fact in our world today.

It’s infinitely less important, but also somewhat interesting, that more than 160 websites (according to Google) use these exact words to describe the tragedy.

“One in four” is a big number: hundreds of millions of kids.

But in our complicated language, “one” is the noun in this sentence, and it’s singular.

So it should be: One in four kids is malnourished.

Actually, this error is so common, I believe the rules will change in our lifetime, and a number expressed in this way — a plural expressed as a singular — will come to be officially accepted.

At which point, one in four English-language bloggers are out of work.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.