“Only” Abuse

The following are four examples of “only” abuse from this semester’s students. Decide which of the alternatives are the best and clearest claims.

  1. The jobless rate is only a representation of people without jobs that are still searching for jobs.
    1. The jobless rate represents only people without jobs who are still searching for jobs.
    2. Only the jobless rate represents people without jobs who are still searching for jobs.
    3. The jobless rate represents people without jobs who are only searching for jobs.
      .
  2. They happened to succeed in only stealing addresses and phone numbers. No credit card numbers or social security numbers were obtained.
    1. They happened to only succeed in stealing addresses and phone numbers, not credit card or social security numbers.
    2. They happened to succeed in stealing only addresses and phone numbers, not credit card or social security numbers.
    3. They happened to succeed in only stealing addresses and phone numbers, not credit card or social security numbers.
      .
  3. Ebola is neither an airborne virus or waterborne and can only be spread through direct contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids.
    1. The Ebola virus is neither airborne nor waterborne and can be spread only through direct contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids.
    2. The Ebola virus is neither airborne nor waterborne and only can be spread through direct contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids.
    3. The Ebola virus is neither airborne nor waterborne and can be spread through direct contact with only an infected person’s bodily fluids.
      .
  4. Ebola, which is only spread through contact with bodily fluids, can be controlled by first-world infectious disease protocols.
    1. Ebola, which is spread through contact with bodily fluids, can only be controlled by first-world infectious disease protocols.
    2. Ebola, which is spread through contact with bodily fluids, can be controlled only by first-world infectious disease protocols.
    3. Ebola, which is spread only through contact with bodily fluids, can be controlled by first-world infectious disease protocols.

About davidbdale

Inventor of and sole practitioner of 299-word Very Short Novels. www.davidbdale.wordpress.com
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