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Question: Is it bad?
Answer: "I've suggestions but this is a long way from being bad"

What does this a long way from being mean? Does it mean "much more than just bad" or does it mean "not bad at all"?

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3 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Firstly, I am not sure whether I have suggestions can be shortened to I've suggestions, it sounds awkward, I've never heard such a statement. If you want it shortened, it'd maybe be a good idea to write it as I've got a few suggestions.

Long way from being bad means it's not bad (yet): this situation would need to get a lot worse to become bad.

The answer in your quote says that the situation is still OK.

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This is in a sense of a long way from becoming, which means not at all.

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Although one needs more context to answer with assurance, I can imagine the conversation going like this:

Alice says: "Here's what I plan to do."

Alice outlines a plan, then asks: "Is it bad?"

Barb says: "I have some suggestions, but it's a long way from being bad."

Clearly, the meaning of Barb's reply is neither "it's worse than bad" nor "not bad at all", but somewhere in between.

"It's a long way from being bad" appears to be analogous to "It sure fails to suck" or to "No way is that plan a total fail!"

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