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If you didn't want to say someone is "inefficient", how would you concisely describe someone who has bad efficiency - badly/poorly efficient doesn't sound quite right, or is this ok?

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I would use low efficiency instead of bad efficiency. You could say that something is not very efficient. –  Armen Ծիրունյան May 28 '13 at 13:37
    
@ArmenԾիրունյան I wanted to know if it was correct to say "Dan is ______" without saying inefficient. Upvote because answer is useful - Dan is not very efficient would work though. –  Mr Shoubs May 28 '13 at 13:46
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3 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Inefficient plainly is the most efficient word to use here, but if for some reason you prefer innuendo or euphemism, consider words or phrases like less than perfect, ineffective, fritterer, fiddler, unfocussed, overly meticulous, indirect, wasteful, roundabout.

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I think you've hit the nail on the head there. I can't imagine why anyone would want to avoid the normal word unless they wanted an insinuating or euphemistic nuance. Which is easy for us Brits, because we'd just say "He has an interesting approach to efficiency" (in such contexts, interesting = crap, useless, not worth bothering with :) –  FumbleFingers May 28 '13 at 15:56
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@FumbleFingers: "Define interesting." "Oh god, oh god, we're all gonna die?" –  Marthaª May 28 '13 at 16:31
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@Martha: I suspect you're trying to trick me into spending another whole afternoon trapped in TVTropes. But as it happens, I watched Serenity last week, so I knew I'd be bound to find that quote on IMDB. –  FumbleFingers May 28 '13 at 16:50
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"Less than efficient" may be appropriate.

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As suggested in your comment to @Armen, saying Dan is not very efficient is a perfectly acceptable way (at least in British England) of saying that his efficiency is not very good. (In fact, it's the phrase I immediately thought of when reading your question and before reading the comments I mentioned.)

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