Devil is in the details vs. God is in the detail

The idiom the devil is in the details means that mistakes are usually made in the small details of a project. Usually it is a caution to pay attention to avoid failure.

An older, and slightly more common, phrase God is in the detail means that attention paid to small things has big rewards, or that details are important.

The devil version of the idiom is a variation on the God phrase, though the exact origin of both is uncertain.

Below is an ngram comparing the two.



The devil is in the details, isn’t it? Ever have what seemed like a great idea and then when it came time to make the idea a reality, it was very difficult to make the idea happen? That’s because the devil truly is in the details. Details are time consuming, difficult to plan, and can bog you down. [Alpena News]

The devil, of course, will be in the details: the ideas put forth in the comprehensive plan will need to be incorporated into the countywide zoning regulations, which are due for an update. [Cincinnati]

God is in the details with Lee’s designs, whether it’s ribbons of colour trailing down a tailored shirt or exaggerated sleeve cuffs that look as though they might be hiding huge cufflinks. [Instyle]

Rohit Shetty must firmly believe in the idiom, God is in the detail. He has an eye for intricate design. He pays attention to crafting scenes and characters. [Filmfare]

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