I was reading (not editing) a news story about integrated oil companies like Marathon and ConocoPhillips splitting their upstream and downstream business units into two separate companies. The author, a professional writer from Platts, was describing how high oil prices might be favorable for the upstream company, and then I came to a screeching, gasping
halt over the following typo:
“But how would standalone companies fair if prices now started to fall?”
The word “fair” is rarely used as a verb, and then only when talking about the weather clearing up or two pieces of something being joined together so the whole is nice and smooth.
Fair is usually used as:
– An adjective that means pretty, sunny, or impartial.
Pray, tell me, who is that fair maiden?
The weather has been the same for months: fair and hot and dry.
That’s not fair! You gave him the bigger half!
– A noun that refers to a festive or competitive event.
The line of people for the job fair snaked out the door in spite of the heat.
Big Tex is a statue of a cowboy that towers over the State Fair of Texas.
The word “fare” comes from an old Scottish word that means “to journey.”
As a noun, fare means food and drink, or the price paid for travel by bus, cab, train, or air.
As a verb, it means to travel or get along. To wish someone “farewell” is to wish them a pleasant journey.
The service at that restaurant is superb, but the fare is only mediocre.
I would have taken a cab, but I had no cash for the fare.
How did you fare during your midyear review with Supervisor X?
So back to our typo; the corrected version should read:
But how would standalone companies fare (get along) if prices now started to fall?
Looks like we might be seeing how fairly soon.