Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Brad asked about the origin of deadline. Today it refers to a time limit, especially a time by which an article or a manuscript or a project of any kind has to be submitted for publication or completion.
The origin of the word is rather gruesome. It was developed by the military during the American Civil War. It was the line marked around a military prison. If a prisoner crossed that line in an attempt to escape, he would be shot dead.
The word dead doesn’t always mean deprived of life. Referring to food or drink, it can mean insipid and devoid of taste. It can also mean muffled in reference to sound, and dull in reference to color.
It also means utterly, profoundly, and completely. Think of dead stop, dead calm, dead asleep, dead tired, dead silence, dead broke, dead certain, dead wrong, and dead center.
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