safe = 'not emotionally upsetting or disturbing; "non-threatening"'

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Sep 9 22:21:08 UTC 2011

I can't fit this child-rearing, feel-good sense comfortably into any
existing OED def., but I've encountered dozens of times, probably from the

2011 J. S. Foer in _New Yorker_  (Sept. 12) 31: I often think about how my
[very] young songs will come to know about September 11th. Something
overheard? A newspaper image? In school? I would prefer that they would
learn about it from my wife and me, in a deliberate and safe way.

Foer's sensibility allows him to write of his own, contemporaneous, adult
reaction to 9/11 as follows:

"[B]ut what about the broken contract? How could this world be so unlike the
world I thought I was living in?"

How indeed.


"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

The American Dialect Society -

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