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Here's a sentence written in my textbook.

The food was delicious and the service was briliant, but making my wife the center of attention for one night was the most important 'thing' of all.

It sounds like he was only concerned about making her happy only that single night. After that night, he is not likely to treat her as he did at that night. So, what if I use 'for that night' like a following? Or does 'one' have another meaning other than 'singular thing'?

The food was delicious and the service was briliant, but making my wife the center of attention at least for that night was the most important 'thing' of all.

Plus, can I omit 'thing' in last sentence without making any difference or error?

  • for that one night.... is also another option, and probably the most fitting...if you want to emphasize for that particular night! – Maulik V Feb 18 '15 at 5:42
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Unfortunately, your rephrasing does not eliminate the possible reading "only for that night". You'd think adding "at least" implies that there might be more. But oddly, it doesn't help. (It's the "least" he could do, but it still might be the only time he does it.) Taking out "one night" helps, though.

I would try "...the center of attention for that night". That doesn't leave out the possibility that it might happen again, and it doesn't lead the reader to even think about the likelihood thereof.

Oh, and yes you can take out 'thing'. (if you leave it in, remove the single-quotes.) And, if you choose to use "at least for that night" it should be enclosed with commas.

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