The sentence, from the Wikipedia article on Thomas Pynchon:

Indeed, claims that Pynchon was the Unabomber or a sympathizer with the Waco Branch Davidians after the 1993 siege were upstaged in the mid-1990s by the invention of an elaborate rumor insinuating that Pynchon and one "Wanda Tinasky" were the same person.

Would "a certain" fit here?

2 Answers 2


One in this context indeed refers to a person. However, the person that one refers to is anonymous rather than very well known. So the emphasis, with this kind of structures, is on the anonymity of the person in question.


It would. Actually one in this case can be safely omitted.

one in this context is a formal way of referring to a person, so the following are valid:

that Pynchon and a person named "Wanda Tinasky"
that Pynchon and a "Wanda Tinasky"
that Pynchon and "Wanda Tinasky"

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