"send the wrong message"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Fri Oct 14 03:15:29 UTC 2011

On Thu, Oct 13, 2011 at 6:45 PM, Jonathan Lighter
<wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com> wrote:
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> Sender: Â  Â  Â  American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster: Â  Â  Â  Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject: Â  Â  Â "send the wrong message"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> For when you fail to "send a strong signal." Â I.e., "impart an adverse
> suggestion or impression to."
> GB appears to have a legitimate ex. from 1969. At least the context
> implies that the Vietnam War is still going on.
> ProQuest yields nothing in the NYT until 1978.
> 1975 _Syracuse Post-Standard_ (June 19) 4 [NewspArch]: [South Korean
> dissidents] accordingly look with apprehension at American
> Congressmen, clergymen, civil libertarians, and liberals for fear they
> will send the wrong message to Pyongyang and Washington.
> All earlier exx. seem to refer to literal, concrete messages.
> It seems to me that there was a lot of TV commentary beginning about
> 1968 that antiwar demonstrations, bombing halts, etc., "will send the
> wrong message to Hanoi." Â Of course, it might have been 1969. Or I
> could be crazy.
> JL
> --
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

"Send the wrong message"?! Why, that's precisely what the elimination
of the anti-drug laws would do!

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint
to come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

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

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