How are you today? Fine. How’s the weather? Fine. What happened when you were caught speeding? Fine. How would you describe the lacework on a garment? Fine. How was the speech he made? Fine.

There are 28 definitions or uses of the word ‘fine’ in my dictionary. That’s fine by me. I had to read the fine print to make out the finer points. I must ensure I don’t cut it fine when writing this blog. I might go to a gallery to look at some fine art. What a fine time that would be. I could be distracted by listening to cricket commentary: ‘Oh, that ball’s gone down to fine leg;’ or procrastinate by watching a fine gentleman in a period drama on television. In a discussion I may be told, ‘That’s a fine point.’

The English language never fails to intrigue. But what a mine field – or maybe, on a good day, a fine field – it must be for those learning the language. You might need to practise words and their meanings, going over and over them with a proverbial fine tooth-comb before fine-tuning your skills pre-examination.

The 17th century French playwright, Molière, said, ‘Oh how fine it is to know a thing or two.’ Well, I know a fine little song: ‘Thank you, Lord, for this fine day, right where we are.’ Yes, the sun is shining through the window onto my keyboard and it is, indeed, a fine day.

But you may be fed up with all this fine stuff. Take a break. Lunch, maybe. Molière again: ‘I live on good soup, not on fine words.’

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