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