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The world over

 

An idiom is an expression whose meaning is not readily apparent based on the individual words in the expression. This forum is dedicated to discussing idioms and other sayings.


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  #1  
Old January 04, 2016, 01:12 PM
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The world over

I found this sentence today: "Fewer wars were killing fewer people the world over". I had never seen this construction before. I would have expected the sentence to be built with "(all) over the world" instead.
I searched and found it's an idiom, so I can't really ask why the author chose it instead of what I expected, but I would like to ask two questions:

1) Would you say that there might be an ambiguous meaning if the sentence were "fewer wars were killing fewer people over the world"? That is, because of the world there are wars.
I know this would be awkward as a meaning, but sometimes in Spanish we avoid this kind of absurd ambiguity as we feel that's clumsy writing.

And 2), if the sentence were "fewer wars were killing fewer people all over the world", would it sound more colloquial?


Thanks for helping me out with this.
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  #2  
Old January 04, 2016, 01:48 PM
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All over the world sounds perfect and uncollquial to me. The more indiomatic world over sounds even better. Over the world without all in front of it sounds a little wrong to me, as it may apply to things in the sky.
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Last edited by poli; January 05, 2016 at 06:33 AM.
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Old January 04, 2016, 02:32 PM
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I have used both constructions without ever thinking they were different in any way. If pressed I would say "the world over" sounds more colloquial, but I really see them both as being equal.
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Old January 04, 2016, 10:28 PM
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Thank you both! It's clear now.
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