It Simply Does not Work

“There is no doubt in my mind that democracy in the U.S. style simply does not work in China.”[1] In the sentence, the phrase “simply does not work” has two explanation, one is “does not work absolutely“[2], another is “does not work uncomplicatedly”[3]. In Ref. [3], the author, Yan Ning, translated it to Chinese as “美式民主不能简单地适用于多元化的中国”[3]. However, in American English, the word “simply” means “without ambiguity”[4, see 1a]. So “it simply does not work” means “it does not work absolutely”, in Chinese “它根本行不通”.

In the original sentence, the author, Shi Yigong, said it with a strong tone “no doubt” and “simply does not work”, hence, the word “simply” cannot be explained as “in a simple manner”[5, see 1], but “absolutely”[5, see 3].

References
1. Shi, Yigong. Writing about China. PAWMarch 7, 2007: Letters. http://www.princeton.edu/~paw/archive_new/PAW06-07/09-0307/letters.html. Aug 13, 2008
2. 太蔟. 施一公的“科学精神”(XYS20080813). http://www.xys.org/xys/ebooks/others/science/dajia9/shiyigong7.txt. Aug 13, 2008
3. 颜宁. 方舟子是在哗众取宠,还是无间道?http://www.sciencenet.cn/blog/user_content.aspx?id=34979. Aug 22, 2008
4. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/simply. Aug 22, 2008
5. Collins English Dictionary (Desktop Edition). HarperCollins, 2004. p1516

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