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Most of us are not taught at school about the intricacies of our English language – we simply start in Grade 1 by learning the alphabet (a word derived from the Greek) and over a period of a dozen years or so become reasonably proficient speakers. Most people wouldn’t realise that there are more words in the English language than in any other, and that many words have two or more meanings.

The vast majority of the words in our language have both an “emotive” and a “factual” meaning and when considering the emotive meanings of the word “profit” and its derivatives we reach a great divide.

Some people automatically believe that anyone who makes or seeks to make a profit is indeed “profiteering”. Although Karl Marx believed that all capitalists were evil because they were exploiting “the workers”, the concept of the commune that he envisaged has never managed to eliminate the strength of a profit motive.

To illustrate this point one of the most productive places for an argument about profiteering would always be a expensive restaurant.

Would anybody care to define the “excess” in “excess profit”?