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    #1

    'on balance'

    Hello,

    what is the meaning of 'on balance'?

    This conversation is from the TV serial 'The Mentalist' - Season 2 Episode 20.

    Lisbon: Do you think she was having an affair?
    Harrington: On balance, no.
    Lisbon: Go on.
    Harrington: Sadie loves this company as well as my son. She'd never risk everything for a roll in the hay.
    Thank you

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: 'on balance'

    'On balance' = having carefully weighed up/considered the arguments for and against this...

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    #3

    Re: 'on balance'

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    'On balance' = having carefully weighed up/considered the arguments for and against this...
    @fivejedjon, thanks for your response.

    It seems like it should have a simple 'yes' or 'no' answer (that is, whether she is having an affair or not). I understand from the following sentence that she had too much to lose by having an affair, so if she carefully weighed/considered the reasons to have or not have an affair I can understand. I can't see what Harrington is weighing when he is answering 'no' with 'on balance'.

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    #4

    Re: 'on balance'

    Quote Originally Posted by Olympian View Post
    @fivejedjon, thanks for your response.

    It seems like it should have a simple 'yes' or 'no' answer (that is, whether she is having an affair or not). I understand from the following sentence that she had too much to lose by having an affair, so if she carefully weighed/considered the reasons to have or not have an affair I can understand. I can't see what Harrington is weighing when he is answering 'no' with 'on balance'.
    By saying "On balance", he is just explaining that he has considered everything he knows about the subject and, taking all of it into consideration, he does not think she was having an affair. I don't think he knows the answer absolutely for certain. She's asking for his opinion.

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