Can someone help out with this: the first one seems wonky and so does the second one!

"Not all headsets are created equal"

"Not all headsets are created equally"

It's a common phrase (the top one), but why does it seem wrong?

Which is correct?!

  • For me, "created equal" refers to the headsets, while "created equally" seems to refer to the process of creation...I may be nit-picking. Apr 3, 2020 at 16:09
  • 2
    To analyze a confusing sentence, it can help to substitute other nouns/verbs, and to eliminate adverbs that aren't part of the confusion: "Kittens are born cute" vs "Kittens are born cutely" -- have you witnessed a birth?
    – AmI
    Apr 3, 2020 at 16:12
  • 'Equal' is an adjective in the first sentence in a resultative structure. 'My face has been tanned brown.' The second uses 'equally' as an adverb, which doesn't really work. 'Not all paintings are painted quickly.' // @Aml Not that it really matters, but I'm struggling to class 'Kittens are born cute' as depictive or resultative! If one scans them before they're born, they may already be seen to be cute! Apr 3, 2020 at 16:25

1 Answer 1


First off, understand that it is a play on "All men are created equal", from the US Declaration of Independence.

But, aside from that, the meaning of "equally", in the same context, would be ambiguous -- does it mean "created with equivalent status" or "created with equivalent resources"?


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