• Adj: isolated from others; examples: "could be alone in a crowded room", "was alone with her thoughts", "I want to be alone"
• Adj: lacking companions or companionship; examples: "he was alone when we met him", "she is alone much of the time", "the lone skier on the mountain", "a lonely fisherman stood on a tuft of gravel", "a lonely soul", "a solitary traveler"
• Adj: exclusive of anyone or anything else; examples: "she alone believed him", "cannot live by bread alone", "I'll have this car and this car only"
• Adj: radically distinctive and without equal; examples: "he is alone in the field of microbiology", "this theory is altogether alone in its penetration of the problem", "Bach was unique in his handling of counterpoint", "craftsmen whose skill is unequaled", "unparalleled athletic ability", "a breakdown of law unparalleled in our history"
• Adv: without any others being included or involved; examples: "was entirely to blame", "a school devoted entirely to the needs of problem children", "he works for Mr. Smith exclusively", "did it solely for money", "the burden of proof rests on the prosecution alone", "a privilege granted only to him"
• Adv: without anybody else; examples: "the child stayed home alone", "he flew solo"
Our language has wisely sensed the two sides of being alone. It has created the word loneliness to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word solitude to express the glory of being alone.
But in the end, in the end one is alone. We are all of us alone. I mean I'm told these days we have to consider ourselves as being in society... but in the end one knows one is alone, that one lives at the heart of a solitude.
The most terrifying thing I can think of is being alone - and I mean utterly alone, like no one else in the world alone - at night. That's the nucleus of the first story in my collection and it's also where the title came from for the book.
Human beings do not live in the objective world alone, nor alone in the world of social activity as ordinarily understood, but are very much at the mercy of the particular language which has become the medium of expression for their society.