Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Chinese Fire Drills

While relaxing in during a Law and Order: Criminal Intent commercial break, I found myself wondering about the origin of the phrase Chinese Fire Drill. And I wondered if it was considered an ethnic slur. Some things one might never consider to be an ethnic or cultural slur might indeed be one. (Ever suggest going "Dutch Treat"? Well, a former friend - who is Dutch - raised my awareness that this phrase implies the Dutch are cheap.)

Anyhow, Wikipedia saved the day. Click here for a quick read on the prank known as a Chinese fire drill.

PS: It may be considered an ethnic slur, because it apparently implies that the Chinese are known for unorganized or disorderly public maneuvers. The phrase has its origins at the start of the Cold War - perhaps an strategic effort to bad mouth the emerging Communist power?

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