A Texan jail

Michael Quinion wordseditor at WORLDWIDEWORDS.ORG
Wed Jul 12 08:38:14 UTC 2006

> I doubt that the Houston Detention facility is regularly referred to
> in print as a "Centre", and I was under the impression that "NatWest
> Three" and similar names were restricted to the US (didn't they arise
> in the later stages of the Civil Rights Movement?)

There have been a several numbered groups in recent British history, a
descriptive tic that may indeed have come out of the US. The Shrewsbury
Three, a cause celebre in trade union history, were jailed in 1972 during
a building workers' strike for conspiracy to intimidate on a picket line.
During the IRA bombing campaigns of the 1970s, the Guildford Five were
falsely imprisoned for bombing pubs in the town in 1974, as were similarly
the Birmingham Six. The Maguire Seven were wrongly jailed for possessing
explosives in 1976. There are others.

Michael Quinion
Editor, World Wide Words
E-mail: wordseditor at worldwidewords.org
Web: http://www.worldwidewords.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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