I saw this term in The Economist and found it a little strange. I looked up all the meanings of "register" in my dictionary but no meaning really matched the context. Teacher, can you explain it to me? And would you please give some examples so that I can fully understand it ?
Here's the text:
"...This virtuous cycle seems unstoppable. Successive outbreaks of SARS, a respiratory disease, and avian influenza, which has killed lots of birds and a handful of people, barely registered..."
It means that some one/some thing has had an event happen to them, but they have hardly responded. In the quote you gave, it means that even though some thing serious has happened, there has been a very little response. Another example could be:
"The man accidently hit his thumb with a hammer, but his face barely registered any pain." This means that even though he's hit his thumb with a hammer, which is very painful and would cause most people to do some thing like shout or scream, he has given a very weak response where you might expect a stronger one.
Teacher, sorry for my dump brain, I still don't get it. And here's more context for the sentence. As you can see, there was no adjective after "barely registered". What should I understand it now ?
"This rapid growth, explains Jonathan Pincus of the United Nations Development Programme, derives chiefly from the steady shift of millions of inefficient subsistence farmers into marginally more productive pursuits. Many have begun growing coffee or farming prawns, while others now work in textile plants or shoe factories. Tens of thousands of family firms have also sprung up since 2001, when the government eased restrictions on small businesses.
This virtuous cycle seems unstoppable. Successive outbreaks of SARS, a respiratory disease, and avian influenza, which has killed lots of birds and a handful of people, barely registered. The high oil price has had little effect, since Vietnam is a big oil exporter. The economy even seems to have benefited from jitters about terrorism, since the same repressive regime that props up the country's Communist leaders also instils investors and tourists with a sense of security."
"Barely registered" simply means "had a very small effect". In that context, it means that even though there have been some problems (the successive outbreaks of SARS, a respiratory disease etc), they've had a very weak effect on Vietnam's economy.