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I stumbled upon a sentence:

There’s nothing to say that you have to process all the state transitions at the same time

What does this phrase mean? Specifically as a 'clause' if I can call it that (with 'that' and a following sentence).

I see it's used throughout the internet but I couldn't find a definition neither here nor anywhere else.

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    It's a transferred usage, building on something like "The boss says that you have to process all the state transitions at the same time" or "The rule book states that you have to process all the state transitions ... ". Often, there's no outside authority even remotely involved. "Of course there's nothing to say that you have to wait until your property is for sale before you get some aerial shots done." / "There's nothing to say that you can't experiment and try new arrangements." / "There's nothing to say that you can't continue to work a full-time job ...". (All from the internet.) – Edwin Ashworth Jan 21 at 19:15
  • Source: books.google.com/… – Hot Licks Jan 21 at 19:31
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Other variants of this structure are

  • Nobody says you can't/have to...

  • It's nowhere written that you can't/have to...

They all mean that there may be a perceived mandate forcing certain action - but there actually isn't. It's just in your mind. And as soon as you realise this you enable yourself to make a free decision whether or not to go with the suggested course of action, do the opposite or yet something else entirely.

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    "It's nowhere worries that..." isn't a common expression is it? I've never heard it, possibly because it isn't grammatically correct. – nnnnnn Jan 23 at 1:23
  • Oops, auto-correct got me and turned "written" into "worries" ... now corrected. Thanks for the hint! – miw Jan 23 at 15:17

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