Unusual Verbs 3: Deep Six


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I quite like the verb “deep-six.” I like a lot of those numerical expressions:

But “deep-six” is different. It has an attached adjective. That’s unique. It’s also visual. Burying something six feet under is intense. Think Pandora’s box; Hamlet with Yorick’s skull. Think Kill Bill Vol. II. Being deep-sixed is almost untenable. There’s almost no coming back from it. That’s why it works so well as a verb. It’s pretty much irreversible. It’s an absolute — a speech act that is almost impossible to undo. Even if it was, who would have the balls to resurrect that which has been deep-sixed. Bringing back something so decisively cast away must be a dirty business. If you deep-six something, you mean for it to be gone forever. Out of sight, out of mind.

I’m sure you have a list of things that should be deep-sixed. Things that just need to be GONE — returned to the dust from whence they came. That should be a fun list to write as long as nothing is off-limits.


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