[Ads-l] "... there's just one of them"

Chris Waigl chris at LASCRIBE.NET
Wed Jul 25 07:04:45 UTC 2018

I was just listening to the latest CBC radio broadcast of "Quirks and
Quarks" (as a podcast, but no matter). Here's how the host introduced a new

"You've probably noticed that our planet has exactly one moon. And it's a
pretty good one, as moons go, but still, there's just one of them."

At this point I had a weird 200 milliseconds of wondering if the "them" is
the gender-neutral singular they (referring to the Moon??), which it
obviously isn't. But it nontheless came across as ever so slightly weird.
OTOH, would "... there's just one of it." have been better?

For people, I do hear stuff like "[She's awesome, but we need to make sure
not to overload her with work:] There's just one of her."

Idly speculating,


Chris Waigl . chris.waigl at gmail.com . chris at lascribe.net
http://eggcorns.lascribe.net . http://chryss.eu

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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