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All in all

The idiom meaning everything being taken into account is all in all, not all and all. All in all is an emphatically redundant variant of in all, which has roughly the same meaning. In fact, for writers who value concision, in all is a good replacement for all in all.

Examples

The eggcornall and all, is surprisingly common. Here are a few examples from current news and blogs:


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All and all, Tim Pawlenty did not stumble, meaning his campaign can count today as a win. [Des Moines Register]

All and all, I thought it was a great way to wrap up a fantastic season. [Screen Junkies]

All and all though, it was a short and sweet set to warm up a chilly Auckland night. [Stuff.co.nz]

And these writers spell the idiom correctly:

All in all, this model is stacked against the poor. [Guardian]

All in all, though, Palin’s approach has worked well. [Mother Jones]

But all in all, it’s an inspiring new way of looking at Canada’s original sacred spaces. [CBC]

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Comments

  1. I came across the phrase “awl and all” in War and Peace. As I recall, it was an early English translation. It meant the same thing as “all and all” and I’ve since figured “all and all” was a corruption of “awl and all.”

    Googling it I find “awl, soap, and all”, so maybe my memory is fuzzy?

    “And not only externally was all in order, but had it pleased the commander in chief to look under the uniforms he would have found on every man a clean shirt, and in every knapsack the appointed number of articles, ‘awl, soap, and all,’ …”

    http://bit.ly/VEelyQ

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