Writing for Business - A Whatis.com Blog

Apr 15 2010   1:34PM GMT

Fair well or fare well?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
NASA’s concern was that the organization’s communications would not ____ very well if restricted to only two TICs.
a. fare
b. fair


Answer: a.

Explanation:
Fare, in this context, means get along or do.

The DailyWritingTips blog explains further:

How Do You Fare?
by Maeve Maddox

In an article about the different functioning of the two sides of the brain, I read this:

People with this type of “wiring” usually fair very well in school due to the auditory teaching.

The word wanted here is fare since the writer means that people who learn a certain way “get on” or “perform” well in school.

The word fare in this sense is from the Old English verb faran, “to journey.” In modern usage, to fare usually doesn’t mean “to travel,” but we do still talk about seafarers, “those who travel on the sea,” and wayfarers, those who travel along the roads. A popular 19th century hymn was “A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief” by James Montgomery (1771-1854) George Coles (1792-1858).

So, there’s one more thing to remember if you want to fare well in your business writing.

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