Wednesday, November 21, 2012

these ones/these: Common Errors in English Usage Entry for Wednesday, November 21, 2012

these ones/these 
By itself, there’s nothing wrong with the word “ones” as a plural: “surrounded by her loved ones.” However, “this one” should not be pluralized to “these ones.” Just say “these.” The same pattern applies to “those.”

Of skin, noses, and teeth: Paul Brians' latest blog post sorts it all out.

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  1. The use of "these ones" in Buffy Saint-Marie's song "Now That the Buffalo's Gone" seems perfect to me. I cannot think of another phrase that would have the same impact.

    1. One of the things that makes Sainte-Marie's lyric work is that "these ones" is a little unusual. That phrasing adds dimension. Likewise it would not work well at all for Dylan to sing "I am not going to work on Maggie's farm anymore."