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Is replete used appropriately in the following sentence?

His office was like a Hollywood museum, replete with an autographed photo of Marilyn Monroe.

Or should replete only be used with categorical plurals, such as:

His office was like a Hollywood museum, replete with autographed photos of famous stars.

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4 Answers 4

up vote 10 down vote accepted

If a room is replete with something, then it's full or abundantly supplied with it. If there's only one thing -- in this case, a picture of Marilyn Monroe -- then the room can't be replete with it.

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I'll just add to the other answers that the first sentence would be much better off with the other "plete" word, complete.

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Given that replete means gorged, plentiful, stuffed. From the Latin repleo, meaning "to fill up".

I doubt a place can be replete with a single autograph.

However, I have seen it used in worse context.

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The more correct sentence is the second one.
The first sentence you wrote could be understood as describing a very small office, so small that a photograph would fill it.

You can use replete with a singular noun, as in

Sensational popular fiction, replete with adultery.

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That still implies plenty of it. I don't see how you can have plenty of one photo. –  TRiG Jun 8 '11 at 17:59
    
The OP didn't report he was trying to avoid a word that would imply "plenty of it." –  kiamlaluno Jun 8 '11 at 18:07
    
It can be used - wrongly I think - to mean something that is so significant that it takes over the place. If the photo was exceptionally significant, it could be used in this form and be understood. –  Schroedingers Cat Feb 1 '12 at 12:42

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