A small response, I realize not dealing with everything you said in the post.
Um... yes really. I said that in the popular lexicon, particularly with the political class (not in the written dictionary), fair has come to mean the exact opposite of its dictionary definition; particularly when one calls our current progressive tax system “fair.”
There is NOTHING equitable, nondiscriminatory, unbiased or impartial, in other words FAIR, about our current tax system... NOTHING!
One could argue that it is “appropriate” that the higher income brackets pay a higher percentage tax rate, and that would be the proper use of the word. But to say it is “fair” is just not true by any definition of that word.
Words mean things for a reason.
Mm. I wasn't aware of the unwritten rule that, when a dictionary presents several different definitions of a word, that for a usage of the word to be proper, it has to comply with every single definition.
If you like I can point out several words which would be difficult to use to simultaneously mean every possible definition presented by a particular dictionary.
What you said was that the word had been redefined by some, with the implication that the definition being used was somehow unnatural, false, improper, etc. So I said that the definition being used by the people I think you refer to was actually in the dictionary you quoted: "Just, honest." So, again, not so improper.
You seem to be missing the point.
It's not that the word "fair" does not "simultaneously mean every possible definition presented by a particular dictionary" - our current tax code is not "fair" BY ANY DEFINITION of that word, not a single one!
And the first definition of "just" in the Webster's New World College Dictionary that I use most is as follows:
"1. Right or FAIR; EQUITABLE; IMPARTIAL."
Again, there is nothing FAIR, EQUITABLE or IMPARTIAL about our current tax code.
It's just the simple truth, stripped of the popular mythology surrounding the use of that word in relation to our current tax code.,,,,,,,,,,,,