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Permanent record

Posted by Brian from Shawnee on November 28, 2005

In Reply to: Permanent record posted by Zevk on November 27, 2005

: What does in this sentence 'permanent record' mean: 'Your offer to sacrifice yourself for your friend has been duly noted in your permanent record'.

As far back as the 1960's and possibly earlier, public school teachers in the U.S. would darkly threaten that students' transgressions would go on their "permanent record". The implication, to a child, was you might not get into college or be able to get a job because you were caught talking during a fire drill or something. Usually the phrase is used tongue-in-cheek, because now that we're grown-ups we realize there was never any "permanent record", at least not the way we had imagined it.