A reader asks for clarification regarding the use of the phrase “anyone and everyone” in such sentences as these:
Everyone knows they love to talk on the phone to anyone and everyone.
Anyone and everyone is [sic] to speak to you on the phone.
You will speak to anyone and everyone who might listen.
Anyone means “an individual person”:
“I will give a free book to anyone in the audience who can solve this problem.”
—Only one person or a selected few (depending upon how the problem is presented) will win the book.
Everyone means “every person in a group”:
“Everyone in the audience received a video recorder.”
—All of the audience members received a free recording device.
The combination “anyone and everyone” is used in the context of a welcome or invitation as a way to emphasize inclusivity, as in these examples from the Web:
Anyone and Everyone are invited to join the server after we open, which is very soon.
Anyone and everyone are invited to Roundtable.
Anyone and everyone are welcome to come hack on things.
Sometimes the phrase is used in the sense of “people in general” or “people of no specific qualifications”:
Today anyone and everyone can set up an online business.
Amazon also maintains a flourishing side enterprise in self-publishing, where anyone and everyone can write an e-book.
And sometimes, especially when preceded by just, “anyone and everyone” occurs in the context of exclusion:
If just anyone and everyone are too easily included, we are saying in effect that anything goes.
We don’t want just anyone and everyone, just a select few.
We will not sign on just anyone and everyone. We demand the best.
We don’t work for just anyone and everyone.