Here are a few sentences with the structure, “For all the ~, S + V”.

For all the controversies surrounding the so-called marketing stages or periods, Keith and others appear to have contributed a lasting legacy.

Here, "for all the controversies surrounding ~~" probably means "despite all the controversies surrounding ~~", correct?

For all the furor it caused, the Auschwitz video arguably isn't the most incendiary of Higgins' social media posts.

But here, it seems "for all the furor it caused" can't be just "despite the furor it caused".

For all the controversies coming into these Summer Games, they went off better than most expected from a logistical standpoint.

Here, ᴛʜᴇ "despite" interpretation again seems right.

For all the furor over Trump's reaction to racial issue, if we want to close racial wage gap, we're going to have to start earlier.

Here, it doesn't seem like it means "despite". If it does, then this writer may be "against" the furor over Trump's position and is being a little sarcastic when he said "we're going to have to start earlier". But overall it doesn't read like sarcasm. Perhaps he is "for" the furor over Trump's position.

What is ᴛʜᴇ correct interpretation?

Is there any consistent interpretation of "for all the"?

  • 1
    Why isn't "despite" right for the two you call out? In both cases, the writer means "even though there was a large reaction to one event, another event was more important." – jejorda2 Aug 17 '17 at 18:15
  • @jejorda2 Thanks. But then in the last example, if he meant "Despite all the furor over Trump's reaction to racial issues", why does the writer say as if he thinks starting earlier to close racial wage gap is a good thing? To me it sounds the each part of the sentence is speaking different things. That's my confusion. – user42459 Aug 17 '17 at 18:26
  • Paraphrase: People are furious about Trump's reaction to racial issues. But fixing Trump doesn't fix real problems like the wage gap. We have to fix the older, earlier issues that let Trump become powerful to fix the wage gap. Restated: Despite fury at the reaction, we have start earlier. For all the fury at the reaction, we have to start earlier. – jejorda2 Aug 17 '17 at 18:44
  • Consider that it's a misspelling of "folderol". – Hot Licks Aug 17 '17 at 23:35

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