Browse Definitions :

Is the expression “one and the same” or “one in the same”?

Writing for Business

Which is correct?

Microsoft’s approach with Windows 8 is that tablets and PCs are ____________: same interface, same apps, same touch-screen capabilities.

a. one and the same
b. one in the same

Answer: a.

Explanation:
The expression is “one and the same.” It uses reiteration for emphasis. Peter Parker and Spiderman, for example: They are one and they are the same. Which is problematic if they’re invited to the same cocktail party: Two invitations, one dude.

I have to admit, I was shocked — shocked! — by how many people get this one wrong. Drum roll, please …

Google poll:
One and the same: 245,000,000 results
One in the same: 1,920,000,000 results

I blame this, as usual, on so many more people writing than reading. Those non-reading writers hear an expression but don’t see it in print and so they don’t understand what they’re hearing. A lot of the people using the expression “one in the same” online are wondering what it means. Well, no wonder — it doesn’t mean anything at all!

Paul Brians includes “one in the same” in his Common Errors in English Usage.

Follow me on Twitter @tao_of_grammar

Dig Deeper on Writing for Business

SearchCompliance
  • OPSEC (operations security)

    OPSEC (operations security) is a security and risk management process and strategy that classifies information, then determines ...

  • smart contract

    A smart contract is a decentralized application that executes business logic in response to events.

  • compliance risk

    Compliance risk is an organization's potential exposure to legal penalties, financial forfeiture and material loss, resulting ...

SearchSecurity
  • private key

    A private key, also known as a secret key, is a variable in cryptography that is used with an algorithm to encrypt and decrypt ...

  • DOS (disk operating system)

    A DOS, or disk operating system, is an operating system that runs from a disk drive. The term can also refer to a particular ...

  • security token

    A security token is a physical or digital device that provides two-factor authentication for a user to prove their identity in a ...

SearchHealthIT
SearchDisasterRecovery
  • What is risk mitigation?

    Risk mitigation is a strategy to prepare for and lessen the effects of threats faced by a business.

  • change control

    Change control is a systematic approach to managing all changes made to a product or system.

  • disaster recovery (DR)

    Disaster recovery (DR) is an organization's ability to respond to and recover from an event that affects business operations.

SearchStorage
  • What is RAID 6?

    RAID 6, also known as double-parity RAID, uses two parity stripes on each disk. It allows for two disk failures within the RAID ...

  • PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive)

    A PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive) is a high-speed expansion card that attaches a computer to its peripherals.

  • VRAM (video RAM)

    VRAM (video RAM) refers to any type of random access memory (RAM) specifically used to store image data for a computer display.

Close