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Posted by Bob on May 05, 2006

In Reply to: "CYA" posted by ESC on May 04, 2006

: : : : : : I understand what "CYA" and "cover your ass" mean and how to use them. What is the polite, professional way of saying "cover your ass?"

: : : : : How about "cover your bases".

: : : : "Protect your rear." As military strategy goes, nothing could be more orthodox. Less militarily, but still in a fighting situation, one may hear, "I've got your back covered," or just "I've got your back." In the above sentences, "rear" means rear, and "back" means back. In the office situation, "covering your ass" as risk management has some related language, but none that is as apt. SS

: : : You might try, "protecting one's backside." It means exactly the same thing, but without using words on the disapproved list. SS

: : I'm sure the lawyers among us could spin it into a few thousand words, beginning with "this is a memo to file regarding my reservations about the possible liabilities inherent in the course of action proposed. Let the record show ..."

: How about: Cross your t's and dot your i's.

Not exactly. Covering your a s s is a cautious/cowardly way to protect yourself from blame later. It's beyond being thorough. It's "this harebrained scheme is going to crash and burn, and I want to make sure everyone knows I was against it from the beginning." (If the scheme somehow succeeds, who cares? Nobody will be looking back.) Success has many fathers; failure is an orphan.