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  1. Senior Member
    Interested in Language
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      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Malaysia
      • Current Location:
      • Malaysia

    • Join Date: Dec 2006
    • Posts: 1,277
    #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?

  2. 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.

  3. Senior Member
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Malaysia
      • Current Location:
      • Malaysia

    • Join Date: Dec 2006
    • Posts: 1,277
    #3

    Re: 'once or 'once only'

    Thanks for your detailed logical reply.

    All the best.

  4. 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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