<one Abraham Lincoln>

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Senior Member
Hi there,

I came across a sentence from The American Pageant by David M. Kennedy and Lizabeth Cohen.

"A gangling, rough-featured Whig congressman from Illinois, one Abraham Lincoln, introduced certain resolutions
that requested information as to the precise “spot” on American soil where American blood had been shed."

Why does the writers put "one" here?


  • boozer

    Senior Member
    'One' is normally used when you do not expect your listener to know about the person you are introducing, e.g. 'A question was asked today by one Gil12345 about a story that mentions the name of Abraham Lincoln.' Here I am telling someone about your question and I do not expect my listener to have ever seen you on the forum.

    In your example, however, I expect the author was after the dramatic effect when he introduced someone well-known as though he was a perfectly unknown figure.

    Check meaning 6 here, one as an adjective:
    one - WordReference.com Dictionary of English


    Senior Member
    Ah, TT is right in that this is a dramatic effect often pursued by authors when introducing famous people. When you read 'one' you expect that the name that follows will be one you have never heard. But then you read the name and you suddenly realise that, hey, he is talking about the Abraham Lincoln. :)
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