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On Point

Posted by Bob on August 01, 2001

In Reply to: On Point posted by Markitos on July 31, 2001

: : : : Anyone have any information on the origin and meaning of the expression On Point?

: : : Certain breeds of dog go "on point" when they spot game.

: : Aren't ballet dancers "on point" when they are up on their toes? (Do I remember correctly?) And debaters (e.g., politicians on the stump) are said to be on point or off point when they stick to or stray from their carefully-planned message.

: In ballet, it's "en pointe." In politics, isn't it "on message?" Are dogs "on point" or are they just pointing? I though "on point" refers to a place in a military patrol--it's the forward position that is most likely to first encounter the enemy....

You're right about the military on patrol. "On message" is more common, but "on point" is used, too. But ballet is, once again, pointless.