Mikkel Høgh

Coding the web since 1999

08 Jan 2015

Please stop saying “Not all X are like that”

I’m so tired of seeing “Not all X are like that”. Not be cause its untrue. But because it is stating the obvious. It is completely unnecessary to say.

I wish humanity could progress to the point that it was understood that generalisations do not apply to everyone. It’s a bit like me saying “ducks can fly” and you protesting this with a story about a duck that can’t fly because it’s broken a wing, or lost its feathers.

Please think of that, next time you have the urge to derail a conversation with a “not all ducks are like that”.

We know. We get it. Children like candy, ripe bananas are yellow, Swedish people like fika. There are exceptions to all these. But that does not make the generalisation untrue, and pointing this out just wastes everyone’s time.

Where you should protest, though, is where some someone makes a generalisation that’s untrue. Like claiming that Danish people are alcoholics. While danes certainly consume a lot of alcohol per capita, it is nowhere at the level where you could say that the average Dane is alcoholic.