One What?
Off the Wall, July 31,

So, there I was, wrapping up business as usual, when I turned to leave while stating the salutation, “Have a blessed day!” What I got in return was what I have come to expect as the usual response these days – “Have a good one!”

Interesting. That just leaves inquisitive minds such as mine to wonder just what ‘one’ could stand for. In all likelihood, the individual was referring to a good day and that is what I thought he meant.

On the other hand, an audience may have not caught the whole conversation we were having, so it would still remain in question just what ‘one’ could stand for.

Digging into my gray matter, as one knows me by now, I could come up with any number of words or expressions to fill in that gap. And for all intended purposes shall, for no other reason than I want people to state what they mean and not leave the recipient of ‘slang’ be left in an quandary.

Before I can add commentary to the subject, it’s important to get to the core of the matter. In doing so we have to turn to the dictionary and see how the word is defined. Then we can hopefully apply the meanings to the word in question.

‘Being a single individual,’ stated the authors of Funk & Wagnall’s’ New Comprehensive International Dictionary of the English Language, Deluxe Reference Edition. I continue to be humored by the word ‘English.’ I wonder if Funk & Wagnall has put together an International Dictionary of the American Language. Oh well, I’ll settle for this one.

I could be wrong, but to my understanding, the first definition usually is the most significant. It stated, ‘Being a single individual or object; being a unit.’ Second, it said, ‘Being an individual or thing thought of as indefinite.’

Isn’t the reason I am writing this column is to get to the bottom of an indefinite thing thought? I don’t want it to linger as just that. I want to know exactly what the thingy that’s thought as indefinite really is. Once that mystery is solved, then maybe there will be some clarification to this whole thing.

Next definition: ‘Someone or something.’

“Have a good someone” makes no sense unless one is talking about keeping one’s romantic partner. That’s all I am going to say about that. I think we are getting closer now to what this whole thing is about – “Have a good something.”

I can now proceed with some examples.

I will use my usual list of examples using my list of fictitious names exemplifying those readers from the Greater Latrobe area. Keep in mind, instead of using the word ‘one,’ I will substitute another subject so as to make the thought more complete. Here we go.

Porky Cutlet said to his business associate, “Have a good meal with Cheryl tonight.”
Missy Greencup looked Davie Tee in the eye and stated, “Have a good golf game this weekend, will you?” Sue Medissamull stated, “Have a good banana split this year at the festival.”

Is it becoming apparent what I’m trying to convey? Just by stating, “Have a good one…” leaves the listener in question. Of course, tone of voice plays into it as well.

Sometimes people are left in limbo when the jokester is flirtatious with the party or parties to whom he is speaking. His raising and lower of voice while making the statement may infer something of unmentionable acts and must be ignored in every sense of the word.

A happy being will pass along the message with good intentions that he is spreading an inspiration of hope. And if the person of contact states “Have a good one,” with VIP and vigor in his voice, he may be stating to one who might be down in his luck, so to speak, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Don’t think life is all a downer. One can turn from a life of darkness easily by giving his life to God, trusting in Him, His Son, and the Holy Spirit for direction.

So, when someone either proposes the idea before or after one speaks concerning ‘Have a good one,’ three things may enter one’s mind. First, accept it as being something positive, second, add, “with the help of God,” and third, pass on one’s gift of a contagious smile that correlates with the saying.

- Paul J. Volkmann
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