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    • Join Date: Dec 2006
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    #1

    'once or 'once only'

    Use each word once only.

    Is 'only' redundant or does it serve to emphasise that each word cannot be used more than once?

  1. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970
    #2

    Re: 'once or 'once only'

    It's redundant, yes, but 'only' serves a purpose there. 'once' can also mean, on a specific occasion/at one time in the past and that could in some contexts lead to ambiguity. For example,

    I used each word once. (two meanings; one word, once; on one occasion)
    Once I used each word. (one meaning; on one occasion)

    When it comes to meaning, clarity trumps redundancy.

    As for your example, it doesn't admit ambiguity, so 'only' isn't required.

    All the best.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
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      • Malaysia
      • Current Location:
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    • Join Date: Dec 2006
    • Posts: 1,277
    #3

    Re: 'once or 'once only'

    Thanks for your detailed logical reply.

    All the best.

  2. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970
    #4

    Re: 'once or 'once only'

    You're most welcome, kohyoongliat.

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