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Atatürk
Posted: Monday, October 26, 2020 3:43:28 PM

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Location: İstoç, Istanbul, Turkey
Hi,

Is 'far from too many' natural English in the following?

Undoubtedly, far from too many recyclables are thrown away with the general waste and, as a result, damage the environment. To address this problem, we need to first consider the reason behind people’s reluctance to recycle. One possible issue may be the process itself, which usually requires us to clean and sort waste into different categories based on their material. This is both time-consuming and confusing if we do not know whether certain types of glass, plastic or paper are recyclable or not. We naturally avoid tasks that take up too much time, so it is not surprising that so many people simply throw all their rubbish away in the same bin.
thar
Posted: Monday, October 26, 2020 3:58:50 PM

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It is the opposite of 'far from'.

Far too many recyclables are out into the main waste stream.
Too many - by far.


Far from enough people understand how important it is to recycle.

Not enough - by far. A grossly insufficient number of people.
Atatürk
Posted: Monday, October 26, 2020 4:16:29 PM

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Location: İstoç, Istanbul, Turkey
Far from enough ->not enough
Far from too many -> not too many

Right?
Romany
Posted: Monday, October 26, 2020 7:08:55 PM
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Joined: 6/14/2009
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Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom


Yes, that's right.

But it's such a totally unwarranted way to twist words around?

I can only guess that somewhere, previously mentioned, is an opinion or a misconception stating that 'too many' recyclables are thrown away. She's referring back to that and refuting it: it's not true that too many recyclables are thrown out; in fact the number of recyclables that are thrown out is not 'too many' at all.
Atatürk
Posted: Saturday, November 7, 2020 8:00:01 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/25/2018
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Location: İstoç, Istanbul, Turkey
Thank you for the response. Here is the previous (introductory) paragraph:

Recycling waste materials should help tackle the mountains of domestic rubbish produced each year and our depleting natural resources. However, recycling programmes need the full cooperation of residents if they are to be effective. The question here is whether this can only be achieved by imposing restrictions.


Undoubtedly, far from too many recyclables are thrown away with the general waste and, as a result, damage the environment. To address this problem, we need to first consider the reason behind people’s reluctance to recycle. One possible issue may be the process itself, which usually requires us to clean and sort waste into different categories based on their material. This is both time-consuming and confusing if we do not know whether certain types of glass, plastic or paper are recyclable or not. We naturally avoid tasks that take up too much time, so it is not surprising that so many people simply throw all their rubbish away in the same bin.

________________________________
But I still cannot clearly understand the true message behind that line.

It says, "not too many recyclables are thrown away with the general waste... to address this problem..."

Is it really a problem? Does the writer mean we should throw away too many recyclables to address the problem?
Atatürk
Posted: Saturday, November 7, 2020 2:28:27 PM

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Location: İstoç, Istanbul, Turkey
Wouldn't it make more sense were 'far from' were dropped?-

Undoubtedly, too many recyclables are thrown away with the general waste and, as a result, damage the environment. To address this problem, we need to first consider the reason behind people’s reluctance to recycle. One possible issue may be the process itself, which usually requires us to clean and sort waste into different categories based on their material. This is both time-consuming and confusing if we do not know whether certain types of glass, plastic or paper are recyclable or not. We naturally avoid tasks that take up too much time, so it is not surprising that so many people simply throw all their rubbish away in the same bin.
Audiendus
Posted: Saturday, November 7, 2020 8:45:13 PM
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If the text actually says "far from too many", it is a mistake. The correct wording is "far too many". "Far" here is an adverb intensifying "too many".
Romany
Posted: Sunday, November 8, 2020 10:42:21 AM
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Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

Auds -

I wouldn't tell Attaturk it was wrong - I speculated on the reason it was used here and illustrated how it could be used absolutely validly. i.e. there's nothing wrong with it, in context:

I can only guess that somewhere, previously mentioned, is an opinion or a misconception stating that 'too many' recyclables are thrown away. She's referring back to that and refuting it: it's not true that too many recyclables are thrown out; in fact the number of recyclables that are thrown out is not 'too many' at all.
Atatürk
Posted: Sunday, November 8, 2020 3:36:03 PM

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Location: İstoç, Istanbul, Turkey
Romany wrote:

Auds -

I wouldn't tell Attaturk it was wrong - I speculated on the reason it was used here and illustrated how it could be used absolutely validly. i.e. there's nothing wrong with it, in context:

[i]I can only guess that somewhere, previously mentioned, is an opinion or a misconception stating that 'too many' recyclables are thrown away. She's referring back to that and refuting it: it's not true that too many recyclables are thrown out; in fact the number of recyclables that are thrown out is not 'too many' at all.
[/i]


Thank you Romany.

But there's nothing as such in the previous paragraph, which I sent above.

Now would you say it is wrong?
Audiendus
Posted: Sunday, November 8, 2020 8:55:25 PM
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Romany wrote:
I can only guess that somewhere, previously mentioned, is an opinion or a misconception stating that 'too many' recyclables are thrown away. She's referring back to that and refuting it: it's not true that too many recyclables are thrown out; in fact the number of recyclables that are thrown out is not 'too many' at all.

But the next sentence states:

To address this problem, we need to first consider the reason behind people's reluctance to recycle.

So, not enough recyclables are actually recycled; (far) too many are thrown out. (Ideally, none should be thrown out; they should all be recycled.)
Atatürk
Posted: Friday, November 13, 2020 11:30:44 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/25/2018
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Location: İstoç, Istanbul, Turkey
Audiendus wrote:
Romany wrote:
I can only guess that somewhere, previously mentioned, is an opinion or a misconception stating that 'too many' recyclables are thrown away. She's referring back to that and refuting it: it's not true that too many recyclables are thrown out; in fact the number of recyclables that are thrown out is not 'too many' at all.

But the next sentence states:

To address this problem, we need to first consider the reason behind people's reluctance to recycle.

So, not enough recyclables are actually recycled; (far) too many are thrown out. (Ideally, none should be thrown out; they should all be recycled.)


Thank you very much, Audiendus.

I see eye to eye with you exactly.
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