The Buried Mea Culpa

Once upon a time, the likes of William Safire and George Carlin could be counted on to call out linguistic curiosities.

In that spirit, I offer up the very confused expression, “Out of an abundance of caution.”


Practically dripping with CYA (“Cover-Your-A**”), it’s almost always invoked by a contrite person or entity that knows they’re doing (or did) something wrong, and is trying to limit the fallout, legal and otherwise.

Example: ┬áthe company spokesperson who says that, while the food or drug manufacturer believes they located the source of the e.coli outbreak — out of an “abundance of caution” — they were nonetheless extending the recall nationally.

Ounce of Prevention

So, what’s better than practicing an “abundance of caution,” after-the-fact?

Behaving with a “paucity of recklessness” beforehand . . .

See also, “What’s Better Than “an Abundance of Caution?” Answer: “a Paucity of Recklessness”.”

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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