at all : Common Errors in English

About at all

Some of us are irritated when a grocery checker asks “Do you want any help out with that at all?” “At all” is traditionally used in negative contexts: “Can’t you give me any help at all?” The current pattern of using the phrase in positive offers of help unintentionally suggests aid reluctantly given or minimal in extent. As a way of making yourself sound less polite than you intend, it ranks right up there with “no problem” instead of “you’re welcome.”

at all Meaning(s)

  • (r) in the slightest degree or in any respect

at all in News

  1. ETF Insider: New Highs & Lows June 22nd Edition

    Here is a look at all of the ETFs that have posted new one-year highs and lows over the past week. Traders can use this list to find prospective candidates that have deviated too far from their longer-term ...
    on June 22, 2013 Source: ETF Database via Yahoo! Finance

  2. All together now: A review is just a matter of opinion

    All together now: A review is just a matter of opinion When the hurt, angry and "disgusted" readers shared their feelings via phone, email and blog comments, I wasn't surprised. [...] I was struck by the impassioned fundamentalism of the complaints — the white heat of righteous fury behind every flame. This happened so often that I began to wonder why people read reviews at all. [...] I came to ...
    on June 21, 2013 Source: Albany Times Union

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