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    #1

    Does "ruthless efficiency" mean "retarded and inhumaine efficiency"?

    The collocation (ruthless + efficiency) looks strange to me.


    Context:

    The daughter of a revolutionary luminary, Ms. Gu, 53, was among the first generation of lawyers educated after the Cultural Revolution, the decade of social chaos during which schools were closed. As her husband rose through the party hierarchy, she ran successful law practice and wrote a book on the foibles of American courts — and what she described as the ruthless efficiency of China’s legal system.

    More:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/21/wo...nted=2&_r=1&hp

    The definition of "ruthless" I got from OneLook:

    ADJECTIVE:
    Having no compassion or pity; merciless: ruthless cruelty; ruthless opportunism.
    American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language
    adjective
    feeling or showing no mercy; hardhearted
    Collins English Dictionary
    willing to make other people suffer so that you can achieve your goals
    Macmillan Dictionary

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    #2

    Re: Does "ruthless efficiency" mean "retarded and inhumaine efficiency"?

    "Retarded" is not the proper word. "Merciless" or "without compassion" are the best synonyms.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Does "ruthless efficiency" mean "retarded and inhumaine efficiency"?

    Quote Originally Posted by NewHopeR View Post
    ADJECTIVE:
    Having no compassion or pity; merciless: ruthless cruelty; ruthless opportunism.
    American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language
    adjective
    feeling or showing no mercy; hardhearted
    Collins English Dictionary
    willing to make other people suffer so that you can achieve your goals
    Macmillan Dictionary
    I don't quite see how you jump from those definitions to 'retarded'.

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    #4

    Re: Does "ruthless efficiency" mean "retarded and inhumaine efficiency"?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    I don't quite see how you jump from those definitions to 'retarded'.
    I believe some Chinese texts have the influence to stir this up, because China is in a way a lawless land.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Does "ruthless efficiency" mean "retarded and inhumaine efficiency"?

    Quote Originally Posted by NewHopeR View Post
    I believe some Chinese texts have the influence to stir this up, because China is in a way a lawless land.
    This forum is not the place to discuss whether or not China is a lawless land. However, even in the most lawless land in the world, nothing can have the' influence to stir up the idea' that 'merciless' and 'retarded' are synonyms.

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