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  1. #1

    Question "diabolically effective"


    The following excerpt is from the article "Waiting for Al Qaeda" by John Tierney in New York Times.

    "Outside of Afghanistan and Iraq," Mueller says, "the number of
    people killed around the world since September 11 by groups
    in sympathy with Al Qaeda is not that high. These are horrible
    and disgusting deaths, but they're not a sign of a
    diabolically effective organization. The total is less than the
    number of Americans who drowned in bathtubs during this period."

    I have not seen "diabolical" (having the qualities of a devil,
    or pertaining to devil) being associated with "effectiveness"
    before. So, I am wondering about the usage. What does it
    mean here? Is the word "diabolical" being used as someone would
    use "awfully"?


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    Re: "diabolically effective"

    In this context, diabolical means "evil." You can substitute the word "malevolently."

  3. #3

    Re: "diabolically effective"

    Thank you mykwyner.


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