This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

All in all: a rant.

I'm not claiming that all actually does mean all. When someone says I was coughing all night then no one is expect to believe that he or she was indeed coughing all night: in this case the use of the word all is merely intensifying a tacit request to acknowledge the cougher's bravery in being able to function at all.

When a decent and honest publisher says it wants all rights in a book, the actual contract will then go on to say though not copyright or moral rights.

When a much-respected pianist, conductor and composer says you're playing all the wrong notes! It's unexpected for someone to reply:*

But even so, those catalogues which insist on labelling saucepans: 

suitable for ALL hobs (except induction) 

are being really extremely perverse and annoying in their use of capital letters.

Word to Use in Lower Case Letters Today: all. This word has been around for ages. The Old English form was eall.

*If that video has been blocked by the BBC, the reply to André Previn's critique is: I'm playing all the right notes - but not necessarily in the right order.

No comments:

Post a Comment