This came from the “pen” of a best-selling author, in a book from a traditional publishing house, with proofreaders and editors and other subliterates (Oh! My!) on staff:
. . .she glanced at one of the only two. . .
Oh!*gagamaggot*! I could live with “one of only two” because that makes sense, but “one of THE only two” is just stupid!
If it were only this example, well, I could understand a slip-up or two, but no! It’s at least one such example of stupid expression, wrong word, malapropism or simply mind-bogglingly weird example of contemporary subliteracy–as dictated by popular “culture”–per every five to ten pages. It’s as though the author were so immersed in the Mass MEdia Podpeople Hivemind’s subliterate expression of popular verbal “literacy” that such things have over-ridden (no, I do NOT mean “over-written” although that may also apply. . . )any reading of genuinely literate works he may have once consumed.
And so, subliterate destruction of written English gains ground, as more and more people see such things in popular, widely-distributed, widely-read works.
*sigh* Is it too soon to see this, when combined with the hard work being done in pubschools and “higher” ed to dumb down literacy, as the result of a conspiracy. . . of dunces?