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Say It In Latin, Quid Pro Quo

August 23, 2016 , , ,

a rose is a rose

a rose is a rose

The phrase quid pro quo literally means something for something in Latin. When it was first used in the English language it referred to substitution of one medicine for another. The apothecary who switched the patient’s remedy for another one may have acted out of ignorance, or may have done so intentionally.  Fraud may be involved in a quid pro quo arrangement, but it is not necessarily mendacious or premeditated.  It merely suggests an exchange.  There are plenty of beneficial exchanges and trades, so why does this term sound so creepy and illicit?

The usage extended from the pharmacy into legal matters.  In this case the exchange of one thing for another may be used for favors, appropriate or inappropriate.  Now it is common to use this phrase when we suspect some kind of financial hanky panky that smells like an illegal deal.  Ponzi schemes and predatory lending might fall into this category. The Clinton Foundation has been in the news recently for possibly giving favors for donations.  The issue is in the intent of both givers.  If they both intend to evade the law through the trade, they may be acting criminally.  I am sure this is hard to prove in court, but it is done all the time, nonetheless.

In personal business we have quid pro quo understandings with bosses, landlords, colleagues, and clients.  It is good to examine them carefully to be sure that you have not entered an agreement that you can’t or don’t want to fulfill.  There are both written and unwritten contracts that bind people.  Healthy happy something for something trades are good for the community.  Can you think of both good and bad examples from your past?  If you are a good judge of character (caveat emptor) and value you can make sure you get a fair deal.  Pay attention to the deals you make, gentle reader, and what you accept in trade.

a rose is a rose

a rose is a rose

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