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      • Native Language:
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    #1

    all over the map = everywhere?

    But in most years, when people are asked to identify the country's most important problem, they're all over the map.

    Does 'all over the map' mean 'everywhere'?

    Thank you in advance.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: all over the map = everywhere?

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    But in most years, when people are asked to identify the country's most important problem, they're all over the map.

    Does 'all over the map' mean 'everywhere'?

    Thank you in advance.
    It's not very clear, but I would read it to mean that when people are asked to identify the country's most important problem, they name a large number of different problems. I think it's meant to be metaphorical in some way, as if there is a map of all the possible problems and when one is mentioned a pin is stuck on the relevant part of the map. So many of them are mentioned that there would be pins stuck "all over the map". I'm not 100% sure though, as it's a rather odd sentence.

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    #3

    Re: all over the map = everywhere?

    Normally, "all over the map" means "widely varying" or "without any apparent pattern" and not anything to do with physical or geographical location.

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