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This is the first question I had asked here. But things went in other direction and ultimately, I moved to this board as advised.

The question:

I have heard this from many. They use 'each and every' and 'until and unless' in one sentence. Is this usage correct? How?

See this -

I want each and every one of you to follow the instruction.
I want every one of you to follow the instruction.

Also,

First of all, you have to understand what she means.
First, you have to understand what she means. - “First” is always the first among all, right?

This is surprising (but confirmed)

The word 'revert' does mean back in most of the cases still, using revert back is correct!

If we could convey the message by putting just one word, why go for redundancy?

  • 3
    I don't think revert back is surprising, personally. If you expect natural language not to be redundant, you'll be surprised time and time again. – snailcar Nov 24 '13 at 3:20
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    This is an interesting question, because so many writing guides exhort beginning writers to eliminate redundancy. Yet phrases such as the ones you mention, as well as any and all, anyone and everyone, nook and cranny, forever and always, and rest and relaxation abound. Such phrases are often considered acceptable, though, because they add a lyrical, almost poetic emphasis. I don't think it's a coincidence that so many of these are alliterative. – J.R. Nov 24 '13 at 10:37
  • RE: "First" is always the first among all, right? That's a bad example of a redundancy, because such a construct might be used for parallelism, e.g.: First, you have to do this... Next, you have to do that... and so forth. – J.R. Nov 25 '13 at 10:45
  • @J.R. The example is 'first of all' – Maulik V Nov 25 '13 at 14:54
  • Ah! My bad. Yes, that is a bit wordy. A similar one that is sometimes used for emphasis is first and foremost. – J.R. Nov 25 '13 at 15:26
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Each and every uses the repetition for emphasis. As Wiktionary says:

Each without exception; used for emphasis.
  "Do not leave without checking each and every door to make sure it is locked."

Until and unless uses the repetition for emphasis as well. This phrase, however, is somewhat less common, and I think it's used mainly in formal contexts. (I was unable to find a dictionary that listed until and unless.)

To give you an idea of relative frequency, here are the terms I searched for in COCA, along with how many results I found for each search term:

  each and every       1500
  every and each       2

  until and unless     58
  unless and until     137

You'll notice that each and every is a fixed phrase which doesn't occur in reverse order, but until and unless is actually more common the other way around. (Thanks to J.R. for pointing this out in a comment!)

  • Hmmm, I would say it also clarifies. For example, having someone say, "Every one is unique" or "Each person is unique" feels different for me as the listener. I would feel that the former had just been a generalization while the second would feel more directed towards me as the individual. So while it does emphasize, "each without exception," I would say that it also clarifies, "When I say without exception, I mean, without exception." – Teacher KSHuang Jan 9 '17 at 8:10

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