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What does "all too often" mean in this sentence?

A poorly designed distribution system can ruin the performance of any water-based system. All too often, people, including heating professionals, focus their attention on water-based heat source selection and simply assume that heat source ...

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closed as off-topic by Kris, user49727, Rory Alsop, Christi, choster Nov 29 '13 at 21:53

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3 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

The all is frequently added to strengthen an expression. It means entirely, thoroughly, very, completely, totally, much.

  • I was all alone
  • The rum is all gone!
  • He was all too happy to see me in trouble!
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According to NOAD, all too is an expression — "used to emphasize that something is the case to an extreme or unwelcome extent:

failures are all too common."

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"all too often" means simply "in most cases"

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I'm afraid that it doesn't. Do you have a source for this statement? –  Ste Nov 28 '13 at 15:47
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