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Discussion on appropriate use of these two phrases came up on another forum.
I believe it depends on context.
Would be interested in hearing other views.
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@HS - they seem pretty evenly matched in Google search, Ngram and Newspaper websites etc. Having thought about it a bit, I think you can almost always substitute "fair" for "true", but not the other way round. In my examples, you could say that what she said was fair but not that the judge's sentence was true.
Very close to the examples I quoted.
The judge's sentence was harsh but fair, given the ferocity of the crime.What she said about how drink was destroying his life was harsh but undoubtedly true.
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