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I was reading this article when I've got to this sentence:

If we see the identification “feminist” as implicitly committing one to both a normative stance about how things should be and an interpretation of current conditions, it is easy to imagine someone being in the position of wanting to cancel his or her endorsement of either the normative or the descriptive claim.

At first this "one to both" construct sounded wrong. Later, I wondered if it is an alternative way of saying "one or both." The idea is, had we three options here, one could choose one to three of them. We have only two, one can choose one to two of them - or, in a different way of writing, one to both.

So, is it right or should I report this error? :)

closed as off-topic by StoneyB, Sven Yargs, Tragicomic, TimLymington, Mitch Sep 26 '15 at 16:14

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  • 6
    You're misparsing this. One = "someone": the person committed. To heads a preposition phrase expressing what that someone is committed to: to both a stance and an interpretation – StoneyB Sep 25 '15 at 21:31
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it rests on a misparsing of a juxtaposition as a constituent. – StoneyB Sep 25 '15 at 21:32
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If we see the identification “feminist” as implicitly committing one to both a normative stance about how things should be and an interpretation of current conditions, it is easy to imagine...

Parse this as:

If we see the identification “feminist” as implicitly committing [one/someone/ourselves/you/whoever] to both
- a. a normative stance about how things should be and
- b. an interpretation of current conditions,
it [is/becomes] easy to imagine...

In other words, this is no different than

Identifying as feminist commits (some)one to both A and B.

  • 1
    I agree (+1). @brandizzi - The collocation 'one to both' is meaningless in isolation. The verb is 'to commit [someone] to [something]' The word 'one' is the impersonal 3rd person pronoun. – chasly from UK Sep 26 '15 at 0:03

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