Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Each and Every Duty and Obligation

Duty and obligation --there is a difference in the meaning of these words. Duty is that which one performs as a moral obligation; and obligation is that which one is bound, as by bond, or is compelled to do.

One has a duty to perform as a citizen; another is under obligation to pay a debt. Moved by a sense of duty a man, traduced by those nearest him, may work for them, but in view of their actions, is not under obligation to do so.

Each is an adjective defined as "being one of two or more distinct individuals or things having a similar relations and forming an aggregate; every." It is used when the same thing to be said of individuals or things considered distributively or one by one. To emphasize individuality it is often followed by one; as "each sailor received a reward, for each one had earned it."

As a pronoun each denotes every one of any number or aggregation considered individually, or as having characteristics common with others yet holding a position peculiarly its own; as, "each of the officers of an army."

Each is distributive when only two individuals are considered and is synonymous with both as every is synonymous with all.

Not to get all biblical on you, but these two different biblical translations offer an excellent example of the subtleties of each and every:

The Authorized version of Revelation chapter iv, verse 8 reads, "and the four beasts had each of them six wings" but in the Revised version the rendering is "having each one of them six wings."

The first is correct, and the second is incorrect. Each means "every one of a number separately considered." Every must be followed by one or its equivalent; as, "every one knows that"; "every man knows it," but each does not require after it. One may say of persons "each is found to excel in some particular walk in life"; "each made it his duty to retire in course" ; "each has his own place marked for him"; "each did much to purify the spiritual self-respect of mankind."

I hope this helps each and every one of you.

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