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There is a sentence from Johnny Cash's Wikipedia page with a very strange structure:

At the July 5, 2003, concert (his last public performance), before singing "Ring of Fire", Cash read a statement that he had written shortly before taking the stage:

The spirit of June Carter overshadows me tonight with the love she had for me and the love I have for her. We connect somewhere between here and Heaven. She came down for a short visit, I guess, from Heaven to visit with me tonight to give me courage and inspiration like she always has. She's never been one for me except courage and inspiration. I thank God for June Carter. I love her with all my heart.

Does this sentence mean "She has always only been my courage and inspiration", or "She has always been my courage and inspiration (and probably some other things)"? And can anyone explain more about this structure?

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  • Johnny Cash's Wikipedia page is extremely long. Can you point out which section the queried sentence is in? – Kate Bunting Mar 18 at 11:36
  • @KateBunting Later years and death: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Cash#Later_years_and_death – formicini Mar 18 at 11:38
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    It's a very strange sentence. I suspect the meaning is "She has never been anything but courage and inspiration for me." – stangdon Mar 18 at 11:56
  • What @stangdon: A very very strange sentence, which is not grammatically valid. – FumbleFingers Mar 18 at 18:35
  • I’m voting to close this question because it's asking about the "syntax" of an invalid construction. – FumbleFingers Mar 18 at 18:36
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She came down for a short visit, I guess, from Heaven to visit with me tonight to give me courage and inspiration like she always has. She's never been one for me except courage and inspiration.

The sentence is unclear, and I guess it might have wanted to mean

She's never been [anything else] for me except [one giving] courage and inspiration.

The 1st of the following interpretations is similar to mine, although I would prefer not to place 2 adverbs together but to shift the only to the back.

"She has always only been my courage and inspiration."

"She has always been my courage and inspiration (and probably some other things)."

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