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Q: How have the (terror) attacks affected tourism in Turkey? A: Badly.`

Reading a table about the number of tourists visiting the country, the meaning is clear. They meant the attacks affected the tourism heavily. But could 'badly affected', not considering the context, mean 'almost not affected'?

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No, to give the meaning of almost not affected you would say scarcely affected, barely affected or hardly affected.

Badly affected always means affected in a negative way and to a significant degree.

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  • Quite right, always negative connotation. – Peter Mar 6 '17 at 1:37
  • Can you say "slightly affected"? – SovereignSun Mar 6 '17 at 10:29
  • @SovereignSun Yes – Chris M Mar 6 '17 at 16:00
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"Badly" is what we might call an answer that's not really much of an answer. Yes, of course it's ambiguous, but only to the degree and specifically how tourism has been negatively impacted.

Another example:

Q: How did she take the news? A: Badly

This implies that she did not react well to the news, but other than her negative reaction, the answer gives no detail about the degree or manner of her reaction.

An answer of this sort implies the person answering doesn't want to offer up any details, or is trying to "make light" of the situation. If you want more information, you have to follow up with more questions.

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I would agree with the others 9 times out of 10. The only condition that I would envision "badly" to mean "ineffectual" is if it was clear that the intent of the terrorist attacks was to disrupt tourism. In which case "badly" could be substituted for "poorly". For example,

"The Japanese attack on pearl harbor went badly for the Japanese because their intended primary targets, the US Aircraft carriers, were not in port."

But even in that instance "badly" doesn't fit perfectly it is just meant to illustrate one circumstance where it may be related to performance rather than condition or sentiment.

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  • saying something went badly isn't the same as saying something has been badly affected. Badly affected always has severe negative connotations. – Chris M Mar 6 '17 at 16:02

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