An Italian student, a young man of twenty, came to me today with a bunch of papers in his bag. It was the questions and answers to a multiple choice English quiz. We're talking hundreds of questions. He needs to pass this exam really well if he has any hope of being accepted in a military academy.
We go through the questions and answers that he is unsure of until we reach this one…
Choose the alternative which is closest in meaning to the word in brackets and which does not change the meaning of the sentence. “The question is [irrelevant]”
[ ] not respectful
[ ] hard to answer
[ ] inappropriate
[ ] very important
[x] everywhere and nowhere
He reasoned that "inappropriate" was the best choice but the so-called correct answer is the one marked x. I don't think either one is right, the "correct" answer is an idiom with which I am most unfamiliar. The expression that I do know is “neither here nor there”
Wiktionary defines it
Having no significance or influence on the question at hand.
The synonyms listed are: beside the point, betwixt and between, irrelevant, unimportant, unrelated, impertinent
But it has been many years since I lived in the UK, and maybe “everywhere and nowhere" is used nowadays. Google tells me it is the title of an English 2011 film, which suggests that the idiom(?) is used but it is not listed in any of the main dictionaries I consulted.
- Is the answer “everywhere and nowhere” in the multiple choice quiz right or wrong? Please provide supporting evidence.