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I am reading the book “winnie the pooh”. Now, Christopher's company, which sells luxury luggage, doesn't perform well. Christopher is in charge of the Efficiency Department. Here is an excerpt: 

“How did things get so bad?” Christopher asked, running a hand through his hair. He just didn’t understand. He had been tirelessly efficient. Every T had been crossed and every I had been dotted — more than once. If there was ever a question about something that might not have been efficient, Christopher assumed it wouldn’t be and made the appropriate changes to the plan or purchase. Granted, he knew that times were lean for many. The war’s effects had reached far beyond the battleground. Luxury purchases were not high on the list of the general population. Still ...

I don't understand the bolded sentence. What did Christopher assume? How is this assumption connected with the rest two parts of this sentence (If there was ever a question about something that might not have been efficient) & (Christopher made the appropriate changes to the plan or purchase) ?

Could you paraphrase this sentence, adding more linking between ideas?

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  • If there was ever a question about something that might not have been efficient, Christopher assumed it wouldn’t be efficient. We can omit something previously mentioned as a possibility. Mary wondered if the bus might be late, and decided to assume that it would be. Commented May 20, 2022 at 17:30
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    I assume you mean "watching the film Christopher Robin" as there is nothing like this in the book Winnie-the-Pooh
    – James K
    Commented May 21, 2022 at 5:53

1 Answer 1

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If there was ever a question about something, in a plan or purchase, that might not have been efficient, Christopher assumed it wouldn’t be efficient.

To avoid excessive repetition (as, here, of 'efficient'), we can omit something previously mentioned as a possibility.

Mary wondered if the bus might be late, and decided to assume that it would be.

My father was not angry, although I had expected that he would be.

My mother is not an alcoholic, even though many people think that she is.

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  • I still don't understand "If there was ever a question about something that might not have been efficient, Christopher assumed it wouldn’t be efficient and made the appropriate changes to the plan or purchase." Could you paraphrase this sentence, adding more linking between ideas?
    – joy2020
    Commented May 20, 2022 at 21:09
  • @joy2020 see amendment. Commented May 20, 2022 at 21:12
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    Aha! If there was ever uncertainty whether something was efficient or not, Christopher assumed it was not efficient (because he wanted to be safe and perfect, leaving no room for doubt) and then he would make the appropriate changes to the plan or purchase to make sure everything was efficient and thus eliminate that uncertainty. Do I understand correctly?
    – joy2020
    Commented May 21, 2022 at 2:05
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    @joy2020 That's right. There is irony - if you think about it - The "efficiency department" is being very careful, precise and methodical, and not very efficient!
    – James K
    Commented May 21, 2022 at 5:57

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