Fair vs. fare

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Fair has many definitions, the main ones being (1) of pleasing appearance, (2) just to all parties, (3) moderately good, and (4) an event or gathering held for the selling of goods or for public entertainmentFare has fewer definitions. As a verb, it means to get along, as in, “How are you faring this morning?” As a noun it means (1) a transportation charge, (2) a passenger who pays a transportation charge, and (3) food and drink.

So, for example, on a fair day you might pay a fare to take a bus to the fair, where you spill ketchup on your shirt while sampling the fare.


At many campuses, an underground market for chips, candy, fast-food burgers and other taboo fare is thriving. [Los Angeles Times]

Major League Baseball’s annual trade fair is underway in Dallas. [National Post]

Commuters could be offered cheaper early morning fares in an attempt to ease congestion on London’s transport network. [Evening Standard]

Spring Hill prison has seen it’s fair share of hairy inmates. [Stuff.co.nz]