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Black mark

Posted by Bruce Kahl on October 20, 2002

In Reply to: black mark posted by ESC on October 20, 2002

: : : At A recent tutorial the speaker was chastised by a member of the study group for using the phrase"Black Mark" as it was thought that this phrase had racist conotations. Can any one tell me the history of this phrase ??

: : I don't think so. It was it the British radio programme 'Take It From Here' with Jimmy Edwards and June Whitfield. - "Black Mark, Bentley.' I doubt if it is meant to be racist.

: When you talk out of turn in class, the teacher puts a black mark (pencil lead is black or dark gray) beside your name in the grade book. That's all the history I know. I couldn't find the phrase in any of my references.

The color black had long been associated with darkness and evil--witches and their black cats, the bad guys' hats in cowboy movies, Darth Vader and the Dark Side of the Force etc.
Blackmail? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe someone knows the whole nine on blackmail.
But then again how about the phrase "in the black" which has positive aspects accounting-wise.
Go figure!

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