"send the wrong message"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Oct 14 12:18:07 UTC 2011

And you can certainly "send the wrong signal." Earliest?:

1977 _N.Y. Times_ (Jan. 10) 47 [ProQuest]: Senator Dick Clark,
Democrat of Iowa, ...said that the dispatch of an American mission to
Rhodesia would send "the wrong signal" to Mr. Smith's government.

1977 _Bennington Banner_ (Feb. 14) 2 [NewspArch]: "I think it would
tend to send the wrong signal at this time," [Senator Dick] Clark
said. "It would send a signal opposite to that of the repeal of the
Byrd amendment."

Almost a hapax before the '80s, now indispensable.


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

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