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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Criminal Sentence 120: If "only"

From an article about the IRS:

"If it's a rebate you're waiting on, you only have until Nov. 28 to claim your cash."

I only have one problem with this sentence. I mean, I have ONLY ONE problem with this sentence. The word "only" should go next to the word it modifies, in this case, only one, not only have.

In the IRS sentence, Nov. 28 is the deadline; people have until Nov. 28 only.

In conversation, it's probably OK to put "only" in the wrong place, but when you're writing something, please be more precise.

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