Not every french word has diacritics, many do just have the basic A-Z. Also, for some reason the link on the page goes to laisser-faire, but the definiton of the french form of it is on laisser faire (no hyphen), links are supposed to go to specifics, not generals, and if the person following links doesn't know that he/she has to got laisser faire, he/she might end up in a loop, as laisser-faire links back to laissez-faire. —This unsigned comment was added by 220.127.116.11 (talk) at 20:27–20:35, 17 October 2008 (UTC).
I question the existence of laisser-faire in French, in the French Wikitonary there is no such entry. One shall ask some native speaker. Bogorm 13:57, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
I'll look into it. —RuakhTALK 15:49, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
Going by Google Web and Google Books, it looks like both spellings are common, with laisser-faire being more common than laissez-faire. —RuakhTALK 15:55, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
laisser is the infinitive ("to let"); laissez is the polite second-person inflection ("(you) let"). I don't know which one the French would use to describe this, but in the literal meaning "allow to do" they are equivalent — just different inflections. Equinox 15:57, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
Right. I searched using "le laisse[rz]-faire" and "du laisse[rz]-faire", to get only relevant hits. —RuakhTALK 16:39, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
second sense "Whatever the market will bear". I'm not certain that this is either an adjective use or if it is, how it is distinct from the first sense. Thryduulf 13:32, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
How do we handle terms that originally had a technical meaning whose meaning is extended partially for political ends, partially out of ignorance? The sad fact is that the term may be coming to have the disputed meaning. Economists do not own economic terms or do they? To verify the disputed meaning we would probably have to go to News, especially political opinion. If 90% of the usage were found to be more or less correct usage of sense 1 and 5% were sense 2, what would we decide?
I would argue that "what the market will bear" is a phrase that has its meaning primarily in terms of the pricing decisions of an organization or business, although it is being extended to mean "as much as I can get away with" in non-market applications. It is about the actions of competitors.
"Laissez faire" is about the supervision of competitive processes. Originally it was about economic policies of a government. It is now extended to refer to any policy of non-intervention in a competitive process by any entity with supervisory powers. Perhaps one might say that (truthfully or not): "The US Democratic National Committee has adopted a "laissez-faire" policy toward the party's presidential nomination process." "Laissez faire" is also used where "laissez passer" might be more apt. DCDuringTALK 16:16, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
Sense should probably be at laissez-faire, but seems real; numerous b.g.c. hits for "laissez-faire prices," presumably referring to the sort of prices charged when no controls are in place, thus whatever the market will bear. -- Visviva 00:12, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
I had neglected to look at the PoS. All the senses given are nouns. I think the PoS ought to be a noun, though many usage examples will be in attributive use. In attributive use the hyphenated form would be less ambiguous, more "correct", and possibly even more common.
Let me take a look at that kind of citation. You might well be right. But it is a kind of usage that upsets the economist in me. DCDuringTALK 00:54, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm not seeing very much usage that does not have punctuation between "laissez-faire" and "prices" at b.g.c., Scholar, or News. I'm happy to say I'm not finding clear support for the disputed sense. I'll see it I can find some other collocations that might be consistent with it. DCDuringTALK 01:04, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
Well, there's no bright line between using laissez-faire to mean "of or pertaining to laissez faire" and using it in this putative sense... but "laissez-faire prices" is a valid non-punctuated phrase in 5 out of the 14 b.g.c. hits (, , , , and one more not visible in preview). Still, I would have to call this inconclusive. -- Visviva 15:17, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
I should have added that I didn't find the valid uses of "laissez-faire pricing" supportive of the "what the market will bear" sense. In some of the cases in question that phrase only comes up in somewhat technical discussion of price regulation. If the sense is to remain, I think it is more likely to occur on blogs and be attestable from Google News in editorial and opinion pieces. DCDuringTALK 16:58, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
Keep sense as rewritten by Ruakh. Seems like this should be satisfactory for all concerned. -- Visviva 11:59, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
I agree the rewrite makes the entry very significantly better. Thryduulf 12:19, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
Kept. Glad you like it. :-) —RuakhTALK 22:34, 13 May 2009 (UTC)