All for Me!
Posted by Neal on November 22, 2005
I bought a few things at an office supply store a few weeks ago. As the cashier finished scanning the last of my items, she asked if I was interested in a rewards card. I decided to get one, so she handed me a temporary one and explained the benefits. Then she looked at the items I’d bought, and asked, “Is this all for you?”
I said, “Ahh…” while I wondered, “Why is it any of their business which of these things I’m getting for myself and which I’m getting for someone else? I’m the one paying for them, right? They’ll all get credited to my rewards card, right? Who the heck do these people think they are?”
I was still trying to figure out how to answer when the cashier rephrased the question: “Are you getting anything else?”
Oh, right! “No, that’s all,” I said.
Darn that pesky floating quantifier all, anyway! If it weren’t able to move from in front of the this where it belongs, the question I thought I’d heard would have been phrased like this:
Is all this for you?
and Is this all for you? could only have meant the question she actually intended:
Is this everything for you?
all everything for now.