Thank goodness for my sharp-eyed friend. In a recent entry on a political blog for which I write, I used the word “fair” when I should have used “fare” and, fortunately, Susan, who likewise writes for a living, pointed it out to me.
I confess this sheepishly, as I should have known better. But the episode allows me to make two points:
One, every document needs editing and everybody needs an editor. Everything, everybody. If you don’t have someone who can read your writing, then wait a few days and look at it with fresh eyes. That’s not quite as efficacious as having an objective editor who has not previously seen your document, but it’s better than nothing.
Two, so you don’t make the same mistake, here are the words’ definitions:
“Fair” can be a noun, as in the State Fair, or an adjective that variously means even-handed or unbiased; pale; or pleasant in appearance. Let’s hope the concept of “the fair sex” has been banished from most lexicons.
“Fare” likewise can be a noun, as in bus fare or food and drink. As a verb, it means how one gets along or succeeds/fails. Clearly, I fared better with Susan’s help.
As for fair fare? In Indiana, that would be deep-fried Snickers and elephant ears.