Friday, February 22, 2013

laissez-faire: Common Errors in English Usage Entry for Friday, February 22, 2013

The mispronunciation “lazy-fare” is almost irresistible in English, but this is a French expression meaning “let it be” or, more precisely, “the economic doctrine of avoiding state regulation of the economy,” and it has retained its French pronunciation (though with an English R): “lessay fare.” It is most properly used as an adjective, as in “laissez-faire capitalism,” but is also commonly used as if it were a noun phrase: “the Republican party advocates laissez-faire.”

1 comment:

  1. Is it written with a z in English? In French, the spelling "laisser-faire" is much more common (and logical).