Linguistic Red Line

John Rentoul

red line 300x287 Linguistic Red LineThe Banned List Foundation has been distracted by administrative business – brass plates, that sort of thing – and so has fallen behind in its core business of prohibiting things. Here is the next batch of 10:

  1. “Red line.” Nominated by Patrick Inken. The origin of this phrase is a puzzle. The earliest use in the present sense seems to be by an Iranian cleric reported by the New York Times in 1999.*

  2. “Nailed it.” Steve Anderson.

  3. “Bring something to the party.” Lucy, or @daphne_80.

  4. Stupid pun-use of “fracking”. Dave Talbot.

  5. “The Strange Death of Anything.” Steve Van Riel.

  6. Responding to a tweet with just the word “this”. Chris Mochan.

  7. Referenced. John Hall.

  8. ‏“Love Actually moment.” Paul Duffy.

  9. Forward landscape.

  10. Architecture (except in the use of design of buildings) and forward architecture (as in “your role does not exist in the forward architecture”).

The last two are from a friend of mine, who has supplied me with many more suggestions, to which I shall return in due course.

The Banned List book is here. Updates on this blog are here.

*I do not agree, however, that Barack Obama’s use of the phrase was careless or a mistake. As a White House spokesman said this week, the red line on chemical weapons is not the President’s red line, it is the world’s red line, as laid down in in the Geneva Protocol 1925 (to which even Syria is a signatory) and the Chemical Weapons Convention (to which it is not).

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  • Whyshouldihavetoregister

    You win the disingenuous footnote of the year award.

  • Pacificweather

    Are not bombs, other than nuclear bombs, chemical weapons? Has the world been contravening the Geneva Protocol since 1925?

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