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“All,” “any” and “every” are the three words that kill objectivity in most (if not “all”) situations in technical and copy writing alike.
A long time ago I learned to guard myself against using “very” in my writing. “Very” is like white refined sugar. We really can do without it with a little discipline. Our writing would be way better off without it.
But it’s much harder to talk without saying “everybody does this…” or “all XYZ-users are…” and so on.
We use “all,” “any” and “every” to join a group, to gather like-minded support around us. It’s an easy cop-out for registering more people to our fan club in a hurry. That’s why we sometimes end up preaching to our own choir.
Do these statements have the same visceral impact? No. Why? Because the information provided in the second statement forces us to STOP and THINK rather than to REACT immediately.
I believe we need to think more.
The issues we are facing in the world today require more data and a more cool-headed discussion of issues that impact us all.
I wish we could reserve one day of the year for National Hyperbole Abstinence Day to purge our collective consciousness from mental contamination.
Try talking for one day without a single “all,” “any” or “every” in your speech and see what happens.