Deadlines

Speaking to someone the other day I mentioned the next step in a process and was asked whether that was “the deadline”. As I was going through some old posts in preparation for my 2015 Year Review I noticed that I’d previously asked the question (in 2006) about why it was called a deadline but never actually answered it.

Apparently the etymology is as literal and sinister as the word sounds. The term was used to describe a boundary in a prison, and if the prisoner stepped over that boundary they would be shot. The word was then taken up by the written press as a line on print copies beyond which the printers would not work correctly. The association with a time limit also originated from the news because of the strict timeliness required to get a newspaper out to the public.

dilbert

When I was having my conversation the thought crossed my mind that “deadline” didn’t seem the right word. There’s a degree of finality about it that I don’t believe to be fitting. I think I’d like to call it something else.

That place we all run to
It can come down on you
The expectation can be great

If you should ever tire
Or if you should require
A sudden, simple twist of fate

Don’t hide away
There’s something to be said for pushing through
We’d never ride on horses that discourage you

If you should fall upon hard times
If you should lose your way
There is a place
Here in this house
That you can stay

If you should find romance
Go on and take that chance
Before the strategies begin

Deadlines and commitments
Every morning
And in the evening
They can suck you in
Boy, don’t I know it

This offer would be standing
All you’ve got to do is call
Don’t be afraid to knock on the door

If you should fall upon hard times
If you should lose your way
There is a place
Here in this house
That you can stay

I’m not talking about
Deadlines and commitments
Sold out of confusion
There is a place
Here in this house
That you can stay

Catch you, darling
I’ll be waiting
I am on your side

This offer would be standing
All you’ve got to do is call
Don’t be afraid to knock on the door

If you should fall upon hard times
If you should lose your way
There is a place
Here in this house
That you can stay

I’m not talking about
Deadlines and commitments
I’m sold out of confusion
There is a place
Here in this house
That you can stay

I’ll catch you, darling
I’ll be waiting
I am on your side

I’ll catch you, darling
I’ll be waiting
I am on your side

Deadlines and Commitments by The Killers

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