[openbeos] OT: "all but..." the English language

  • From: Charlie Clark <charlie@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: openbeos@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 04 Sep 2002 18:08:10 +0000

On 2002-09-04 at 15:37:51 [+0000], you wrote:
> Well, I may be wrong as english is not my native language, but wouldn't
> "all but completed" imply "not completed" ? Or, in other words, It
> would be in any state *BUT* the state it is now (i.e. completed).

If I can clarify this: you are nearly but not quite right.
"But" in this sentence actually means "except" or actually "but not". 
Natural languages aren't logical!

all/everything/anything except completed
so it would be anything at all but not completed.

nothing but complete is, of course, the inverse

This is equivalent to "Alles außer" in German or "tout sauf" in French or 
"tutti tranne" in Italian illustrating a construction common to most 
European languages.

Charlie Clark
Helmholtzstr. 20
D- 40215
Tel: +49-211-938-5360
GSM: +49-178-782-6226

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