Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large

What difference does it make if I cut at large in the sentence above?

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    NO! Don't even think about cutting the 'at large'. That would reduce the pretentious of the passage, diminishing the self-perceived importance of the author. The resultant self-esteem issues could lead to suicide and or murder. And it would all be YOUR fault.
    – emory
    Jun 23, 2012 at 2:50

3 Answers 3


At large means 'in general'. In your example it contrasts the wider society with the smaller groups that precede it. Its removal would to that extent diminish the impact of the sentence.

  • If someone could reasonably write 'that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society in specific' then 'at large' would make a difference. But society implies in general, thus 'at large' is redundant.
    – emory
    Jun 23, 2012 at 22:50
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    @emory: It's not redundant if the writer wants to emphasise the contrast. Jun 24, 2012 at 5:49

It means "larger society" in this case, there is also a meaning of lack of constraints, as a reporter at large

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    You're right but your answer doesn't include any references or citations to back it up. Could you add in that and some further explanation? Dec 21, 2016 at 11:45

Agreed. The use of 'at large' serves a purpose. It places 'society' in context. In no way is the, so called, passage pretentious! It may be slightly fragmented and a bit disjointed, but in no way does it indicate any "self-perceived importance" on the part of the author. In fact, Emory's unwarranted attack on the writing is a classic symptom of someone with "Antisocial personality disorder." Pathetic really.

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