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Putting the 'b' in subtle

Posted by K. Anderson on July 04, 2003

Hi --

Can anyone tell me the true meaning of the phrase "putting the 'b' in subtle"? I have seen it used both to describe something as extremely subtle (which seems right to me) and to describe it as not subtle at all (this usage was recently in the NY Times, and they tend to know their stuff). Which is the correct usage?