Sunday, 28 October 2012


It was Douglas Adams (1952-2001), perhaps best known for his Science Fiction writing, who was quoted as saying:

'I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.'

The term 'deadline' is mainly used in business circles as the time when a piece of work must be finished. 

It sounds pretty threatening doesn't it? The implication seems to be that if Joe Bloggs is late in submitting the piece of work assigned to him then he  too will become the late Joe Bloggs.

The origins of the word are equally sinister. During the American Civil War, when prisoners were captured, there was often nowhere to imprison them. The solution was to herd them together and then draw a line around them in the dirt with the warning that if they crossed the line they would be shot. Literally a dead line. 

Must dash. My wife has given me a deadline for emptying the dishwasher. 

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