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Re: In the pink

Posted by Victoria S Dennis on January 12, 2011 at 12:03

In Reply to: Re: In the pink posted by Victoria S Dennis on January 11, 2011 at 22:37:

: : Concerning the phrase 'in the pink'; an officer candidate at Sandhurst is asked to solve a tactical problem; his solution is compared to the 'school solution'; without discussion, the right answers to the exercise are said to be in the 'school solution'; the school or official or right answer is printred on pink paper ... the right answer is 'in the pink' ... could this be the/an origin of the phrase? (reference John Keegan's "Face of Battle" pp 19)

: No, it couldn't.

: As you will see if you look up "in the pink" in the Meanings section (here:, you will find the origin of the phrase and evidence that it was in common use long before Sandhurst was founded.

: And even if we didn't know that, it seems a howlingly unlikely suggestion. What connection do you see between the official answer to a test question and a person in flourishing health? (VSD)

- However, if Sandhurst cadets and instructors really do use the phrase to refer to the "school solution", the chances are that they do so precisely because it is an existing familiar phrase although used with another meaning and in another context. (VSD)