Monday, February 21, 2011


“Common sense isn’t so common,” goes the cliche—usually delivered with a chortle—but rarely do you hear the retort: “Then why do we call it common sense?” The phrase must be a misnomer, if the cliché is true—and I think the cliché has at least a small point (well, you never hear people acknowledging others’ common sense used well—“Good common sense there dude!”—so there’s a bit of a bias there.).

What’s the right replacement, usage-wise? Well, most of the cases we criticize others for lacking common sense, the person hasn’t really thought about whatever it is s/he’s made a mistake on. We never really notice our common sense working successfully, but I think it’s the same way: largely an unconscious response for whatever situation has presented itself. There’s another word for our first reflexive response to a situation that requires action: intuition. So let’s go with intuition?

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