The F word

31st March 2014

There is little doubt that one of the most troublesome words in the entire English language is the word “fair” and its inverse “unfair”. Unfortunately it is also one of the most popular words being slipped out at regular intervals by those who feel they are hard done by both generally and on numerous specific occasions.

Even the Economist has written on the topic. Rent seekers who dislike removal of their protection from competition intone with it regularly. Invariably it is a thin and poor disguise for simple envy or lack of cognitive capacity.

Here is a true life example found recently in an actual letter of complaint to a travel company:

"It  took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England . It took the  Americans only three hours to get home. This seems unfair."

When finding oneself tempted to use the F word, stop re-think motives, try for the word which describes accurately and truthfully what you want to say and then ask yourself if you still wish to say it. You may be surprised.

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