walk the expression "to err top top the next of ...," especially "err on the side of caution," suggest that that is wrong to be "on the next of," the object? "Err" makes me think that "error," and also is such the word in concern in the phrase. Additionally, is this phrase considered an idiom?


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In the expression “to err top top the side of…”, the meaning of err is closer to that of the Old French errer, i beg your pardon is “to stray”. The image implied is that, if girlfriend can"t for sure walk on the best line, you can want come err ~ above one details side rather than the other.

You are watching: Better to err on the side of caution

So, simply to make sure I answer her actual question: no, “to err top top the side of…” go not indicate wrongdoing.


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"To err top top the side of caution" means that if you are wrong you will at least be wrong in a cautious way. Let"s to speak you have some chicken in her fridge. You"re not sure if it"s edible or not since you don"t recall exactly how long it"s to be there. Even though you space hungry and want come eat it, you litter it the end to avoid any type of chance that food poisoning. Then your wife/husband/roommate gets home and says "I simply bought that chicken today!". Well, you erred in throwing it out, yet it was through caution.

Basically it method to plot conservatively even if your actions are an ext conservative than they have to be.


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monitor
reply Mar 24 "11 at 15:39
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Mr. Shining and new 安宇Mr. Glowing and brand-new 安宇
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No, it just way that in a instance involving one unclear difference between what may be right and also what may be wrong, the speaker is going to shot to select a course the is closer come the right side.

It"s like when surgeons cut out tumors. They cut out healthy and balanced tissue as well to leaving clean "margins" — erring ~ above the side of clean, in that case.


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answer Mar 24 "11 in ~ 14:04
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RobustoRobusto
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No, the expression is supplied to explain where the margin of error is placed. (Although, that might not it is in the specific origin the the expression.)

To err ~ above the next of caution is to select to be as cautious as to be sure to always be cautious enough, so as soon as uncertain, fairly be also much cautious than too little.


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answered Mar 24 "11 at 15:18
GuffaGuffa
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It needs to do with increasing the likelihood that success or safety.

Merriam-Webster gives the complying with as one example: "We decided to err top top the side of caution <=to be an extremely cautious> when planning our investments." i despise this usage since it reduce "err" to "being on the next of", i beg your pardon is redundant. Why not just say, "we made decision to be cautious"?

That"s why I constantly preface "err ~ above the side of" through "I"d rather" or something similar. Doing so gives "err" a factor to it is in there. "I"d quite err top top the side of _______" method "making a mistake with this would not it is in as bad as do a mistake v that."


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answer Apr 24 "16 at 17:09
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It is used in a situation where you have to make a choice where the preferred outcome is uncertain.

Example: You have to make a decision from data about marketing drug A (95% safe, 70% effective) or drug B (70% safe, 95% effective).

Your score is to make the most amount of money considering both safety and also efficacy. However, in life, nothing is absolutely trusted such together this safety/efficacy data.

Which is more important to make the many money — security or efficacy? You have to make a decision. Stop say you made decision that safety is an ext important in making more money so the doctor’s and patients feel much more safe about the drug to continue sales. However, this can be a failure — one error — it may very well be the efficacy is more important in making much more money.

By choosing to industry drug A based upon safety concerns even though it might be one error in terms of revenue, you have actually just erred ~ above the side of safety.

See more: How Many Pounds Is 51 Kg To Lbs, Convert 51 Kilograms To Pounds

In various other words, let’s say if you had to do a failure (the selection that leads to make no money) which would you choose?

Keeping in mind that your goal is strictly to make revenue, would certainly you rather pick drug A and make the error of gift safe but making no money or pick drug B i beg your pardon is effective but not together safe and also make no money?

If you’re not a greedy bastard you probably erred top top the next of safety and chose drug A.