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I am trying to write a sentence like

Country X is way behind in terms of animal rights compared to other countries.

I think the phrase way behind is colloquial but I cannot think of a “proper” alternative phrase for it.

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    This country has an outdated approach to animal rights. This country has far less regard for animal rights than those countries. This country's approach to animal rights is far behind most other countries'. So on and so forth. – Anonym Apr 17 '15 at 3:08
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    It's the adverb way that feels colloquial, by the way. It can usually be replaced with much or far. In this case, only far works. – Anonym Apr 17 '15 at 3:10
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How about using the word lag? This seems like the most natural way to phrase the sentence while keeping the structure intact.

"Country X lags behind in animal rights compared to other countries."

Straggle is another option. Pick whichever sounds best to you.

"Country X is a straggler in animal rights compared to other countries."

"Country X straggles in animal rights compared to other countries."

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"...maintains a more conservative approach toward enacting animal rights than/compared to..."

This would be less likely to offend "A".

  • It would probably offend quite a lot of conservative people who would not like to be lumped with a lack of animal rights. Just like you wouldn’t say that China and North Korea have a more conservative approach to human rights than most other countries: there’s nothing conservative about it, it’s just different and (to us) backwards. – Janus Bahs Jacquet May 18 '15 at 18:06

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