Words from Dic(tionary)
All: (adj & pron.) referring to the whole quantity or extent of a particular group or thing
As a writer, it’s a word I don’t get to use very often–because putting it to work immediately conjures an image of inclusion without exception.
In other words: “all the people suck.”
You can imagine, there would be some objection to that sentiment.
Even if you trimmed it down to “most people suck,” you might be accused of being overwrought.
“Some of the people suck” is more temperate, but still appears that you think all the people suck and you’re just playing it safe.
So most writers, to protect themselves from the marauding horde of critics, will use the preferable: “a few.”
Yes. A few people suck.
This enables the reader to escape the condemnation of being a sucker, and determine, in his or her own mind, who the rejected few might be.
But there are things I hope really will continue to be believed as applicable to all:
- How about liberty and justice for all?
- How about God loving all the world?
- I like this one: All our possibilities are possible as long as we don’t deem them impossible.
- All we have to do is love one another.
- All human beings are equal.
So to me, “all” is a word of aspiration, faith and welcoming. And even though I am careful not to use it when I get in a gruff mood–to rain my verbal fire and brimstone down from my personal heavenly perch–I do greatly enjoy including all my brothers and sisters … when I know blessing is waiting around the bend.