In this example (no pun intended, of course):

I shouldn't see one woman on Twitter today being that it's National Sandwich Day.

Does it mean that I'm not likely to see any or just one woman?


It means you're not likely to see any woman on Twitter.

Technically it could mean that you're not likely to see only one woman on Twitter, but I think the tongue-in-cheek context favors the first meaning.

  • Right, but I don't think it's ambiguous at all. Equate with "I shouldn't see a single woman". If you meant "only one woman", or "one woman in particular", you would just say so. – Jon Purdy Nov 3 '10 at 20:11
  • 1
    @Jon Well, yes, you would hope one would say so, and one usually does. I don't think it is ambiguous either. Ambiguity comes from not being able to tell the meaning from the context. My point is that structurally/technically/syntactically, it could also mean ony one woman. I guess I was being ambiguous. :-) – Chris Dwyer Nov 3 '10 at 22:52

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