Make Your Editor Cry: All and all vs. All in all
“All in all” is a traditional emphatically redundant idiom which can mean “all things considered,” or “after all,” or “nevertheless.” People unfamiliar with the traditional wording sometimes change it to “all and all,” but that erroneous phrase is, in short, not a thing.
“All in all” is used for showing that you are considering every aspect of something.
All in all, I think it has been a very successful
All in all is also used for “on the whole” or “generally.”
All in all, things might have been worse.
The incorrect phrase “all and all,” is likely a conflation of the traditional idiom with the expression “and all” where that expression commonly replaces “etc.” in common English usage.
I think it has been a very successful
Things might have been worse, and
The phrase “all in all” is an emphatically redundant variant of the shorter phrase, “in all,” which has roughly the same meaning as the redundant idiom. In fact, for writers who value concision (and just may be closet anglophiles), “in all” may well make a good replacement for “all in all.”
In all, I think it has been a very successful
In all, things might have been worse.
In summary, the idiom meaning “everything being taken into account” is “all in all,” with the preposition “in” not “all and all,” with the conjunction “and.”
Gregg Bridgeman is the Editor-in-Chief at Olivia Kimbrell Press. He is husband to best-selling Christian author Hallee Bridgeman and parent to three. He continues to proudly serve in the US Armed Forces and has done so in either an active or reserve capacity for more than twenty years as an airborne and air assault qualified paratrooper, earning a Bronze Star for his service. Most importantly, he was ordained in October of 2001 after surrendering his life to Christ decades earlier.