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Question
Dear Ted,

How are you?

I read of a sentence in Time:

People tend to get in, get out, and become serial entrepreneurs, rather than spending decades working on innovation, a la developed countries like the U.S., Japan, or Germany.

What does "a la developed countries  " mean?

Thanks!

Walden

Answer
Dear Walden:

People tend to get in, get out, and become serial entrepreneurs, rather than spending decades working on innovation, a la developed countries like the U.S., Japan, or Germany.

What does "a la developed countries  " mean?

*** The complete phrase is "a la mode de," a French expression that means "in the style of" or "in the manner of."  Over time, "mode" and "de" were dropped from the borrowed English version.  

*** In the sentence you quoted "a la developed countries" means "in the style of developed countries" or "LIKE developed countries."

Ted




World English Dictionary
la  (ɑː lɑː, lə, French  a la)

prep
1.    in the manner or style of
2.    as prepared in (a particular place) or by or for (a particular person)

[C17: from French, short for la mode de  in the style of]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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