17/05/17 The Difference between Mutual and Common

The Difference between Mutual and Common

What is mutual is reciprocal <the partners’ mutual respect>.
What is common is shared <the parents’ common love for their child>.

Two people may have a common friend, but not strictly speaking a mutual friend. The use of mutual invites redundancies: agreement and cooperation, for example, are by definition mutual. In law, a mutual mistake should more properly be called a common mistake, but the phrase is carved in judicial stone and unlikely to change.