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Posted by Smokey Stover on March 30, 2006

In Reply to: Idioglossia posted by James Briggs on March 30, 2006

: : : : : : I was at a meeting this morning where the following conversation took place: Person 1: "we're running out of tarmac to meet the triple-d (triple dee?)for public comment". Person 2: "What's the triple dee, again?", Person 1: "30th April". (Person 3): "No, no the deadline's been extended ..." I didn't get a chance to ask. I've googled every sound-alike variation "triple dee" I could think of but apart from a radio station and a surprising number of people called "Triple D" have found nothing. Any ideas?

: : : : : My guess (and it's only a guess; I haven't heard this before) is "drop dead date," the ultimate deadline.

: : : : Thanks for that, Bob. I looked up "drop dead date" and notice it seems to come from the legal area which fits in with the agenda of the particular committee. I rather like the phrase - but "triple d" seems neither useful nor decorative. Pamela

: : : triple-d does not have widespread usage in the English legal system. it may be in USage, but not UKage.

: : : I think the "drop dead date" has been used in the context of deadlines for offers to be accepted, but that doesn't make it widespread and many people would look bemused at the mention of 'triple-d'.

: : : L

: : Saying "triple D" is a result of the urge to have a secret language that baffles outsiders. Twin babies have idioglossia, the shared babble of a self-invented language; cockneys have rhyming slang; each profession has its insider jargon. There's a pleasure to being "in." When it becomes deliberately unintelligible to listeners (cryptophasia) it's often also rude.

: Could this have something to do with what I believe is a newspaper publishing term -'drop the dead donkey'? This became the title of a popular UK TV series and is related to deadlines. Googling doesn't throw up anything other than many references to the TV program and certainly doesn't give a clue as to why the phrase was used as the title. Anyone work/ed in the newspaper industry?

As Bob says, 'There's a pleasure to being "in." ' I'm not sure I'd go all the way with his next phrase, "When it becomes deliberately unintelligible to listeners (cryptophasia) it's often also rude." Yes, with a "but." Teenagers and young adults certainly like to speak in code, and some of the time it can seem quite rude. I'm not sure, however, that the concept of rudeness is understood the same way between adults and sub-adults. SS