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"If I can not succeed in an orthodox way, at least I can succeed in a criminal world."

What does the word orthodox mean in this case ?

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It's being used as in definition 4 here:

Adhering to what is commonly accepted, customary, or traditional

Or to paraphrase, "If I can't win playing it straight, I'll win as a criminal"

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It means the following:

If I cannot succeed in a traditional way, at least I can succeed in a criminal world.

Aside from the word, the clauses don't agree very well with one another. The first uses way while the second uses world, which are two different things. But that's just my opinion and other may simply disagree with it.

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  • I agree with your criticism. The clauses aren't parallel. Maybe I'm a fetishist, but I love parallel construction. I'd change the sentence to read "the {orthodox/traditional} world, ... the criminal world" or "{an orthodox/a traditional} way, ... a criminal way" – user21497 Sep 8 '12 at 7:22

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