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.

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