According to Google (63 million results), it should be all of the sudden, though, 22 million results say otherwise, which one is correct?
closed as off-topic by Janus Bahs Jacquet, Mari-Lou A, tchrist♦, Robusto, cornbread ninja 麵包忍者 May 16 '14 at 20:58
This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:
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Each one of those 63 million results says that all of the sudden doesn't really make any sense.
All of a sudden : very quickly and unexpectedly, suddenly.
A sample sentence would be
I felt a sharp pain in my side all of a sudden.
I find this:
If we go back beyond Shakespeare the variant 'the sudden' was commonplace; for example, ...
Generally suddenly expresses exactly the same meaning and is more elegant.
If you must use it, I agree that all of a sudden is the correct usage.
Because when you say the phrase really quickly, the words get pressed together and it can sound like you are saying 'the' sudden. So that is why people start saying it the wrong way.
It took all of 10 years to build that bridge. The 10 years is non specific.
If the 10 years was specified previously: The schedule allowed 10 years to build the bridge, then you could reference it thusly: It took all of the 10 years to build it.
If your sudden is previously specified, you could reference it as "the sudden":
"The wink of his eye happened in a sudden moment. All of the sudden the other eye blinked."
Otherwise, the non-specific "a sudden" should be used.
"All of a sudden, it made perfect sense."