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Ambiguous Recommendations

Newsletter • volume 1 • number 3

The "Lexicon of Inconspicuously Ambiguous Recommendations," LIAR for short, is a compendium of recommendations for conveying unfavorable information while avoiding wrongful termination suits by disgruntled employees. It is the creation of Robert J. Thornton, a Lehigh University economics professor. Here are a few examples:

- To describe a candidate who is woefully inept: "I most enthusiastically recommend this candidate with no qualifications whatsoever."

- For the candidate who is not particularly industrious: "In my opinion, you will be very fortunate to get this person to work for you."

- For the candidate with lackluster credentials: "All in all, I cannot say enough good things about this candidate to recommend him too highly."

- To describe the ex-employee who had difficulty getting along with fellow workers: "I am pleased to say that this candidate is a former colleague of mine."

- And for the candidate who is so unproductive that the position would be better left unfilled: "I can assure you that no person would be better for the job."