"Last Thursday's article on pet peeves [by Dave Gouthro] refers to 'simple common sense.' Well, I also have a pet peeve of my own: the term 'common sense.' Boy, do I dislike it. In a past situation, I was involved with improving Accident Investigation at a workplace. In reviewing existing investigations, a majority of them contained phrases like 'the operator failed to use common sense' or 'common sense wasn't followed.' What the heck does 'common sense' mean? Is it the inherent knowledge that humans are supposed to possess in the absence of proper training? It's been my experience that good sense is anything but common in a training and standards void. To claim that a lack of 'common sense' is an explanation for anything at all is meaningless."
Editor's Note: Thanks for the comment, Tim. Your point is well taken. But don't blame Dave. The original draft didn't use the term "common sense." We added it during the editing process. So we'll take the hit for this one.
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