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A fact of life

[ 2012-04-11 15:05]     字号 [] [] []  
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A fact of lifeA fact of life

It is difficult to resist the impression that bribery and other questionable payments are on the increase. Indeed, they seem to have become a fact of commercial life.

My comments:

“Fact of life” is a great idiom. Fact refers to some irrefutable truth, as against falsehood. In other words, facts are real.

“Fact of life” literally means everything real that we find in life. Obviously not everything we find and face in life is pleasant, and that is the point here. “A fact of life” refers to something unpleasant, undesirable, negative – and yet it is something prevalent, unavoidable.

Bribery and corruption is one such fact of life – it’s ugly and yet it’s always present. Its presence, like the elephant in the room, is keenly felt.

In other words, there’s no getting around it.

You know what I mean: there’s no getting around acknowledging the fact that bribery and corruption exist. There is a way of getting around having to do it yourself.

There is a way, as they say, if there is a will.

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Go to Zhang Xin's column


About the author:

Zhang Xin(张欣) has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.