Submitted by fishslapper  •  May 4, 2005

Everybody doesn’t say it like that...

It might seem a bit nit-picky but I was wondering about how people say... oh this is hard to word for me. Take for instance, a whiny kid who wants to go the park. His mom takes him to the side and says, “Timmy(or something like that), everyone doesn’t want to go to the park.”

That’s a really bad example... But I’m wondering if that’s wrong, or if it’s any better at all to say, “Not everyone wants to go to the park.”

It’s just that when someone uses Everyone + Negative verb it seems like “Nobody” instead of “Only a certain few”--I think they mean. Of course if no one wanted to go they would just say, “Nobody wants to go”, not “Everyone does not want to go”... it’s weird the second way.

It grates my nerves to hear someone say “everyone can’t do it...” instead of “Not everyone can do it”. Maybe they don’t want to have a negative outlook. gyahhh.

Am I making sense? (no).

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Yes, you're making sense. That is your question, right? :p

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Although I almost never hear that construction, you make perfect sense to me. Feel better now?

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Sounds like your mother didn't take you to the park enough.

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Yes, I think that saying "Not everybody wants to go to the park" is a better way of phrasing it. I think the other version is just an americanized way of saying it.

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That is one of my pet-peeves. "Everyone doesn't want to go to the park." is like EVERY SINGLE PERSON would rather do something else. Unless every single person would rather not go to the park you have to say "Not everyone wants to go to the park."

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This sounds like one of my own pet peeves: the "All A are not B" construction. It's ambiguous and should be avoided.

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