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In all fairness

Posted by Henry on June 18, 2004

In Reply to: "In all fairness to him..." Or at least some. posted by Smokey Stover on June 17, 2004

: : At a meeting in our Thai company, our British boss said this about the interpreter (when he saw the detailed documents were only prepared in English, even tho there were non-English speakers in the room):
: : "In all fairness to our interpreter, this can only be discussed among those who feel completely comfortable in both Thai and English, so please prepare documents also in Thai from now on."

: : Do you think he wanted to say that the interpreter's abilities were not good enough in both languages, OR that it would be impossible for the interpreter to go thru with this meeting in a meaningful way without documents in both Thai and English that they could discuss from? I ask because normally this phrase preceeds a negative thought, doesn't it? Thank you.
: :

: I don't think your boss has a clear understanding of how to use the phrase "in all fairness." I can't be sure what he meant. Perhaps, "In all fairness, I neglected to tell the interpreter we would want a Thai version"? That might be it, but it's far from obvious. Yes, the phrase PRECEDES something negative, or at least something one must be fair about. I'm confident that you, Koh, will avoid using idiomatic phrases that you are unsure how to use. I further recommend that you make sure that you distinguish precede and proceed, not only in meaning but also in spelling. You should also avoid "tho" in place of "though," except in extremely informal situations (such as a letter to an English-speaking girl friend, perhaps). Otherwise, your English is very good. As for the Thai version you mentioned: I don't suppose that would be in the Thai alphabet? That certainly is one of the prettiest alphabets in the world, although perhaps not very suitable for e-mail. SS

'In all fairness' usually follows a general criticism. What follows next may offer mitigation to those who were placed in difficult circumstances or exemption to those who did their best.