Alls I Know

I don’t actually know any Alls; I don’t believe I’ve ever even met one. I could start a sentence with Hendersons I know or Lyons I know, but not Alls. Many people do begin sentences with Alls I know though, so I did a quick Internet search of a few Canadian and U.S. sites to see how many Alls I would find. It turns out that there are less than 1100 Alls in the United States. Granted, 1100 is a rough estimate based on a U.S. census from years ago, but even if you multiply that amount by ten or twenty, it’s still not many Alls in a country with a population of over 300,000,000. I found less than ten Alls with listed telephone numbers in Canada! It’s very surprising to me that so many people know so few Alls, so I did a search to see if any of them are famous. I thought that maybe when people say Alls I know they’re really referring to the Alls they know by reputation, just as you might say Obamas I know. I’m sure there are many talented and successful Alls, but I didn’t find any who are famous.

Most people say Alls I know is and that is incorrect. If you are talking about one All, let’s say Uncle George, you should begin the sentence with the and remove the s from All, e.g., “The All I know [Uncle George] is fond of riding a unicycle.” When you are talking about more than one All (George and Aunt Mary), you need to use the plural Alls I know are, e.g., “Alls I know are fond of dyeing their hair blue.”

The meaning of the surname All is unknown; it is, perhaps, a variant of another name. The dictionary definition for the word all includes the descriptions every, entire, sum, total, and each and every. Since there can’t be anything more than every, pluralizing the word all would be redundant. Therefore, the word alls does not exist in the English language in any form other than as the proper name Alls, or as the plural of the proper name All.

All I know is, if I ever have the privilege of meeting members of the All clan, I’ll be able to join the masses who say Alls I know.


Leave a comment

Filed under Grammar

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s