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All of a sudden

Posted by R. Berg on December 10, 2003

In Reply to: All of a sudden posted by Brian from Shawnee on December 09, 2003

: : All of a sudden, or All of the sudden?

: : I get what it means but don't you think it sounds stupid if you really think about it? All of a sudden what? Obviously it means a sudden moment in time but there is no such thing as "a sudden"

: : I just thought I would see what you guys have to think about this, thanks. ;)

: "All of a sudden" sounds natural to me, but "All at once", which means the same thing, sounded awkward to me the first time I heard it. I'll have to vote Not Stupid on "All of a sudden"!

"Sudden" was used as a noun in the 16th and 17th centuries, now marked obsolete in the Oxford English Dictionary. Definition: "A sudden need, danger, or the like; an emergency." Earliest quotation for this sense: "Howe redye they be in matters of dowbte, howe constant in the Sodeyne of dayngers" .