(using the SDMB search for this is impossible as far as I can tell)
I don't like this phrase. The majority of the time it is used it simply doesn't make any sense. Sometimes I see it used in what I would consider a 'correct' way and I feel all warm and fuzzy inside...but that's far and few between.
Bakley all but gave up rights to her child
“It was clear to me this document was a setup for disaster for her,” said Goldstein. “They were setting up a condition for her to lose custody of the child.”
Of the prenuptial agreement, Goldstein said: “It totally stripped her of her rights — community property, separate property.”
What do you mean, "all but" gave up? SHE DID GIVE UP HER RIGHTS!
Here's an example I would consider 'correct': I went to the kitchen. I took out some bread, knives, dishes, peanut butter, and jelly. I left. I all but made a PB&J sandwich! That is to say, I didn't
Season hopes all but dashed
After nonproductive talks, no cancellation announcement seems to be coming soon.
DETROIT-The opportunity for a meaningful regular season in the NHL is about over. ....
But...it is over. There won't be a meaningful season. The hopes are
In the latest Scientific America (March 2005), page 30 lower right (which is what sparked me to start this thread):
This strategy received a setback last December, when the European drug maker AstraZeneca reported that its targeted therapy, Iressa (getitinib), shrank tumors but was no more effective than a placebo at extending the lives of patients with lung cancer. In light of this which study, which included 1,700 people, AstraZeneca withdrew its application for approval in Europe. The company's hopes of ever achieving blockbuster status for Iressa have now all but faded.
*starts to twitch* B-B-But the hopes HAVE faded. Not only has it been pulled and shown to be useless but they are abandoning the project and moving on! How can there be any hope left?
Now, to end this...I found an example I consider used correctly:
Hooray for smut!
Smut Filter Blocks All But Smut
In tests of hundreds of images, BAIR incorrectly blocked dozens of photographs including portraits, landscapes, animals, and street scenes. It banned readers from viewing news photos at time.com and newsweek.com, but rated images of oral sex, group sex, and masturbation as acceptable for youngsters.
Yes! Bravo! Right? Right? Am I being silly/stupid/ignorant about all this or do I perceive a real usage problem?