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Friday, 13 April 2012

L is for: Loose Lips Sink Ships!

OK.  This is not about the Titanic, even though the subject is very much in the news these days, as we are approaching the 100th anniversary of it’s demise!  Loose lips aren’t to blame for that one, t’was an iceberg… or so it was reported!    

The expression I am highlighting today comes from World War II, when it was discovered that the sailors on leave were having all kinds of seemingly innocuous conversations about their life,  with their wife at home or at the park with their families,  in the bars,  restaurants or out shopping!   Information passed along could include any or all of the following:  Which ship they had sailed on, where it was docked, where it had been or even where it was going.     This enabled the sly enemy’s spies to track, bomb and sink some of those ships because of the "intelligence"  innocently volunteered through the big mouths of those sailors.  

We all know that excessive talk can sabotage any type of project, be it a book just about to be published (remember the last Harry Potter book?), the secrecy behind Kate Middleton’s wedding dress prior to the event?  The confidentiality agreements all employees of companies like Coca-Cola ™ must sign so the famous recipe won’t be revealed?    The last 3 examples won’t sink ships but remind us how incidents such as described can easily lead to brouhaha in the business world if  lips are let loose at the wrong time!                                                                 

One definition of this expression says:  "Unguarded talk may give useful information to the enemy" .  Mmmmmm.  We’re not talking only during wars here.  We’re talking day in, day out kind of stuff, talking in public about sensitive information that could benefit someone to the detriment of another.   Do i hear "Insider Information" as in Martha Stewart? 

Or  think of a surprise party that got discovered by the one who is supposed to be surprised because someone let the cat out!   Not always deadly consequences but careless words can spoil many an event by their utterances at the wrong time.

So, signing off, and reminding myself that if I have a big mouth and tend to blabber too much (who me???),  it might get in trouble one of these days.  So I carry a roll of duct tape with me, just in case I get maudlin… 
Sometimes my worse enemy is…. ME!     

I'd rather be known as "Hot Lips"  than "Loose Lips"!   
  ask Major Hoolihan what she prefers!  

Remember:  Mum's the word!

Better Be a Little “S” than a Little Less  


  1. Another good post! The whole time I was reading it, this song played in my head :

    Love you Sis

  2. LOL! Perfectly apropos! Careless Whisper from 1984.... you were just a little tyke, "knee high to a grasshopper".

    I ♥ grasshoppers ! :-) Thank you Sis-Wa

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx S

  3. I didn't know the origin of that one; it make sense!
    I would have thaught that it would have been known earlier than that; ships have been in battle and sinking for a while as far as I know! Good post!

    1. Thank you Bro, i guess it took them a while to figure it out! I mean, what happened to the Nina and the Pinta? Wasn't the Santa Maria the only ship of 3 that made it to America? I can just see Christopher and his drinking buddies knocking back the rum and cokes like there's no tomorrow and spilled the beans!
      Now, let it be understood that i have not confirmed the aforementioned historical event with Wikipedia before writing this. It might not be true at this time but i can go and write it in myself and that'll make it real. Right? Isn't it true that if it's on the Internet, we shouldn't question it? ;)

  4. I loved this! I just had to add your blog to my A.D's FAV 5 of the A to Z Challenge today!
    Have a great day!

  5. Thank you A.D. :-) Happy "M" Day! you've just made my day and it's only 7:22 am!! You are welcome here any little old time.
    Cheers, Sylvie

  6. A great L topic!! I never thought about where that phrase originated! :)

  7. Lol- funny one but true.

    Keeping things to yourself and making sure that information doesn't fall into the wrong ears can be a life savior! I've learned to keep things to myself for the most part; at least I've learned who to share with and who not to.

    It can be devastating to gossip or to talk about other people's issues; word gets around like wildfire. So yes, loose lips can sink ships- and I definitely don't desire to be the culprit; don't desire to bring anyone down nor go down myself.

    Great post!!

    Titanic was such an great classic! I hear its back in the theaters.

    1. Betty: i'm with you! Gossip can be so nasty; i think i'll follow my mom's wise rules about keeping quiet if i don't have anything valuable to say and stay away from those who believe in meddling in everyone's affairs. I personaly believe that they should GET A LIFE and mind their own BIZ!!
      Cheers, Sylvie

  8. I love learning about sayings from posters that relate to the history of graphic design. Thanks for sharing!!