“All Are Not” Should Usually Be “Not All”
Sentences that refer to exceptions to a rule are frequently flawed by faulty construction. Here are five such statements and their fixes.
1. “Just as all habits aren’t bad, all infinite loops aren’t, either.”
Revision: “Just as not all habits are bad, not all infinite loops are, either.”
2. “But all of its coffee is not fair trade.”
Revision: “But not all its coffee is fair trade.” (I also deleted the extraneous of.)
3. “In many parts of the world, egg donation and embryo donation are not permitted, and all religions may not allow for surrogacy.”
Revision: “In many parts of the world, egg donation and embryo donation are not permitted, and not all religions may allow for surrogacy.”
4. “All that’s beautiful about the Wind Cave National Park does not lie beneath its surface.”
Revision: “Not all that’s beautiful about the Wind Cave National Park lies beneath its surface.”
5. “So all hikes don’t have to be a same-day round-trip excursion, there are ten developed campsites.”
Revision: “So not all hikes have to be a same-day round-trip excursion, there are ten developed campsites.”
Normally, I annotate each item in this type of post with an explanation of what’s involved in the specific revision. In this case, however, the solution for each is the same simple step: Insert not before all, and alter the negative proposition farther along in the sentence to a positive proposition. (Usually, all that’s required is deletion of not or its contraction, though the last item requires the removal not only of the contraction in don’t but also do itself.)
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