Intesive purposes? Intents and purposes? etc.

My good friend and I are having a little argument. I claim it’s “All intents and purposes.” He says “All intesive purposes.” Yet another friend says it’s “All intentional purposes.” I claim I’m right. The other two disagree. I couldn’t find an example of it anywhere, so I thought I’d ask here. So which one is it?

You’re right.

So is Montfort.

I knew it!!

“Intensive purposes” never made any sense to me, even though that’s how a lot of people say it.

I’d never even heard “intentional purposes”.

I’ll be sure to rub it in.


This is a pet peeve of mine, actually. I’ve corrected “all intensive purposes” online to so many people that I’m probably starting to get a reputation on certain newsgroups.

It just irks me. Badly.

As noted above, the common phrase is, “for all intents and purposes.” Can you even make sense out of the derivatives?

For future reference, you can do a google search for the competing phrases. The commonest form is usually (but not always) correct.

79,500 hits for “all intents and purposes”
2,900 hits for “all intensive purposes”
59 hits for “all intentional purposes”
1 hit for “all intensive porpoises”

Here are some grammer sites to back you up. You’ll want to search for the word “intents” to get down to where it’s mentioned.

bibliophage, LMAO thanks for that last one! :smiley:
Question - Just why did you search for it in the first place???

Or, to quote Stephen Fry, “for all in tents and caravans…”

I can’t help but be reminded of the argument between Joey and Chandler (yes, I watch Friends – so sue me) over the word supposably (“Did they go to the zoo? Supposably…”).


Grammar sites.

FWIW (and excuse me if the links already tell you this) these have come to be known as “Mondegreens.” There is some poem that has a stanza ending in “And laid him on the green.” This was misheard as “Lady Mondegreen.”

When I think of what an “intensive purpose” might be I imagine a horny male teenager in the fifties petting with his girlfriend in the car, desperate to squirm his hand into her sweater.

— 1 hit for “all intensive porpoises”

hehe, will be 2 hits once google gets around to adding this page.
Ai what a tangled web we weave.

I feel sick. I can’t remember yesterday but I remember when the subject of this thread was also part of an Eight is an Enough episode.