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    #1

    The meaning of "virtual" or "virtually"?

    1. There is virtual unanimity about the need for sustainable macroeconomic balance as a condition for economic growth.

    2. The shift in economic policy that took place during the 1980s has continued into the 1990s and has reached virtuallyall developing countries.

    In both sentences, can the word “virtual” or “virtually” be replaced by “almost” (in meaning)? In dictionaries, I have never seen VIRTUAL interpreted as “almost”.

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    #2

    Smile Re: The meaning of "virtual" or "virtually"?

    Quote Originally Posted by ian2 View Post
    1. There is virtual unanimity about the need for sustainable macroeconomic balance as a condition for economic growth.

    2. The shift in economic policy that took place during the 1980s has continued into the 1990s and has reached virtuallyall developing countries.

    In both sentences, can the word “virtual” or “virtually” be replaced by “almost” (in meaning)? In dictionaries, I have never seen VIRTUAL interpreted as “almost”.
    In the first sentence, one might put a solid argument for "virtual" not being used at all. "There is unanimity" is really a clear statement unto itself. One cannot have "virtual unanimity." Either one has "unanimity" or one has disagreement.

    Think of this as an example. "He told the honest truth." "Truth" by definition is honest. One cannot tell the "honest truth." One simply tells the "truth."

    Well, "unanimity" is by definition inclusive. You can't "virtually" have it. Either you do, or you don't.

    In the second sentence, the word is indeed a substitute for "almost." To my mind, and my eye, it is not a good choice. However, it is accepted and widely used as such.

    Good luck!

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