Every or Not Every?

serpentUsing “every” when we really mean “not every” makes a huge difference. Here are two examples:

Every investigation doesn’t yield new data, but investigating is necessary if anything is to be found.

It’s clear that the writer meant this instead:

Not every investigation yields new data, but investigating is necessary if anything is to be found.

Here’s another one:

Every Iraqi isn’t running around with a rifle on his shoulder.

In this case, the writer intended the following:

Not every Iraqi is running around with a rifle on his shoulder.

I welcome your questions and comments. If you’re not quite sure if a sentence you have written is clear, send it to me and I’ll help you with it.

Cheers,

Tara Treasurefield

Treasurefield Communications

Advertisements

About 123clear

I translate foggy information into plain English.
This entry was posted in clear thinking, word usage. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s