10/4/19 Connect the dots or join the dots

Connect the dots and join the dots mean to put various facts and ideas together in order to see the whole picture or to understand something globally. When someone connects the dots, he gathers all the data available in order to come to a conclusion. The idioms connect the dots and join the dots are twentieth century phrases taken from a type of puzzle invented sometime around the turn of the twentieth century. In a connect-the-dots puzzle or join-the-dots puzzle, various numbered dots are arranged across the page in a seemingly random fashion. However, when the participant connects the dots a drawing appears. This is an appropriate metaphor for not “seeing” the whole picture until one connects all the dots appropriately. If one misses one dot, the picture will not emerge in its entirety. Connect-the-dots puzzles are especially popular with children, as it helps teach them to count. Connect the dots is primarily the American version of the idiom, and join the dots is primarily the British form of the idiom. Note that when used as an adjective before a noun to mean the game, the terms are often hyphenated as in connect-the-dots and join-the-dots. Related terms are connects the dots, connected the dots, connecting the dots.

Example:
Great leaders also connect the dots and help people see the big picture about how any one piece of information relates to the purpose of their work and the goals of the company.



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