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Posted by Word Camel on January 14, 2003

In Reply to: Racial Profiling posted by ESC on January 13, 2003

: : I'm just wondering if anyone knows the origin of the term. I have heard it used as a verb. "Stop profiling me." Was it used as a euphamism, I wonder? If so, what for?

: : As an aside, I'm wondering if this degenerate and sinister transformation of nouns into verbs (transitioning, etc.) is a uniquely American phenomenon. I can't recall a British equivalent but perhaps our friends across the pond know of some.

: : Camel

: I couldn't find anything on that phrase. I did find:

: PROFILE - "n. a (characteristic) way of presenting oneself to the world. Typically used in the phrase 'low profile,' first recorded in 1970." From "20th Century Words: The Story of New Words in English Over the Last 100 Years" by John Ayto (Oxford University Press, New York, 1999).

I have seen one article that says it originated in the New Jersy law suit, but I am sceptical. I think it might have come from the FBI. It's really hard to know where to start looking for this sort of thing.