Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I recently took a year or so out to return to school. This is something I recommend for all sorts of reasons. One benefit is the new perspective you gain afterwards when you revisit a once-familiar world. I came back to consulting and found that most of my old clients and contacts had taken the plunge and migrated to Git (I follow suit in this edition). And everyone, but everyone, was calling their development methodology agile. However, of my first four new clients, three asked me to help evaluate hastily-built and inflexible codebases.

How does but everyone fit in?

share|improve this question

3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

It intensifies the first "everyone". If it simply said, "And everyone was calling their development methodology agile", one might assume the writer meant "a large majority of people" or "nearly everyone". By adding the "but everyone", the writer is say "effectively every single person".

share|improve this answer
1  
Even uncle Joe, who's still writing a mixture of Cobol and Z80 assembler calls his development methodology agile. –  Wayfaring Stranger May 11 at 7:22
    
@WayfaringStranger: Weirdly, he probably would have been right. –  Matthew Frederick May 11 at 18:27

It's an intensifying idiomatic parenthetical phrase which defies the usual kind of parts-of-speech analysis.

share|improve this answer
2  
I'll throw in the term 'pragmatic marker: emphasis'. And the alternatives "And everyone – everyone – was calling their development methodology agile" / "And everyone – yes, everyone – was calling their development methodology agile" / "And everyone was calling their development methodology agile". –  Edwin Ashworth May 11 at 7:34

The sentence is essentially stating that everyone's (as in, each individual as a singular entity, not a whole) own views of their own work is the right one.

Here's a break-down:

And everyone,

All the people.

but everyone,

Everyone is now excluded, meaning it's down to the specific individual.

was calling their development methodology agile.

The subject.

In this context, it can be rewritten as:

Each person thought that their own specific development methodology was agile and disagreed with the methodologies of the others.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.