We see the phrase in a rugby match poster, for example. The phrase means that each member makes effort for the team's victory. My boss (IT department head) asked me if we could use the phrase for the purpose of raising awareness of the risks of cyber attacks. He wants to convey the message that one error may affect all the systems within the company.

Could we use the phrase in a negative sense? if not, what should we say? "One against all"?

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    The phrase is not appropriate. The intended meaning would not be obvious in that context. More appropriate would be something like a pylon indicating that one weak leg might bring the whole structure down.. There's a saying that a camel train is as fast as the slowest camel. In your case, the company is as strong as its weakest link. That might be a better slogan and might be illustrated with an appropriate image.. Commented Nov 4, 2022 at 7:50
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    I associate it with the Three Musketeers' slogan "All for one, and one for all" (meaning that they would all help each other, and each member of the team should work for the good of the whole team). Commented Nov 4, 2022 at 8:44
  • Your boss is describing "a house of cards", "a single point of failure", or "sitting on a powder keg", though those are terms I'd never use publicly to describe an IT department I was in charge of.
    – gotube
    Commented Nov 4, 2022 at 15:17

1 Answer 1


No, you cannot use the phrase.

It implies that everyone is working, together, and with the best outcome for team, but does not say anything about who is (or might be) getting it right or wrong.

It is a statement about intent, not specific actions.

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