handled this pandemic so badly/poorly

Reply Fri 9 Oct, 2020 08:01 am
Are "handled this pandemic so badly" and "handled this pandemic so poorly" interchangeable?

"Badly" is defined as "in a severe and harmful way" (Cambridge) while "poorly" simply means "not well". So "badly" is far more atrocious than "poorly". They are not interchangeable. Am I right?

Dying in a Leadership Vacuum
The Editors
Why has the United States handled this pandemic so badly? The Editors note that although we came into this crisis with enormous advantages, our current political leaders have demonstrated that they are dangerously incompetent.

Source: New England Journal of Medicine
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Reply Fri 9 Oct, 2020 08:15 am
Some rules of English are disregarded by the common rabble, but are observed by the upper class/highly educated in order to differentiate themselves from the common rabble.

The most well known instance of this is the use of "whom" (and using it properly). Most people just say "who" all the time and don't bother with "whom" (and they'd use it wrong if they tried).

This might be one of those cases. As a proud member of the common rabble, I'd probably use badly/poorly interchangeably. But I can easily picture a language snob looking down their nose at me for choosing the wrong word for the occasion.
Reply Fri 9 Oct, 2020 08:51 am
Thank you.
Different standards lead to different results.
Language expert vs. language snob
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