contradiction between parts of a sentence

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Senior Member
Hello everyone,

From the book Thank You for Being Late by Thomas Friedman.

A December 2015 study by the McKinsey Global Institute on American industry found a “considerable gap between the most digitized sectors and the rest of the economy over time and [found] that despite a massive rush of adoption, most sectors have barely closed that gap over the past decade . . . Because the less digitized sectors are some of the largest in terms of GDP contribution and employment, we [found] that the US economy as a whole is only reaching 18 percent of its digital potential . . . The United States will need to adapt its institutions and training pathways to help workers acquire relevant skills and navigate this period of transition and churn.”

On the one hand: there was a considerable gap...
On the other hand: most sectors have barely closed that gap over the past decade - yes, barely, but they (most sectors) closed that gap.

This sounds like a contradiction to me. So how should I interpret the highlighted parts?

Thank you.
  • Hildy1

    Senior Member
    English - US and Canada
    By "closed gap", the author seems to mean "reduced the gap" rather than closing it completely. The less digitized sectors are becoming more digitized, but have not reached the same level as the more digitized ones. So there is no contradiction.


    Senior Member
    English - England
    The gap identified in the 2015 study was between “the most digitized sectors” and “the rest of the economy”, so it’s difficult to see how any one sector could, even partially, close “that gap” as stated. It’s also not clear what period is meant by “over time”, or which decade is being referred to. All in all, a rather woolly piece of information?
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