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Dr. Goodword
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Postby Dr. Goodword » Sat Jul 19, 2014 10:42 pm

• blue-sky •

Pronunciation: blu-skai • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective, Transitive verb

Meaning: 1. [Adjective] Unrealistically optimistic, pie-in-the-sky, as blue-sky estimates of profits. 2. [Adjective] Worthless, of no value, unprofitable, as blue-sky property or stock. 3. [Verb] To subject a stock to the blue-sky laws of a state, designed to protect the public from fraudulent, overoptimistic promises made to sell stock or other property.

Notes: We all cringe when a beautiful word with pleasant connotations is used to refer to the nefarious, but today's Good Word is just that. On the one hand, it refers to an overly optimistic simple-mindedness, as blue-sky hopes for the future, which implies no evil. However, it also has a legal sense, suggesting the use of overly optimistic promises known to be false to make a sale. This tactic has led to blue-sky laws to protect the public from fraud. By the way, the verb has forms: (s/he) blue-skies, (is) blue-skying, or blue-skied. No paronyms, though.

In Play: The original meaning of this good word suggests simple simple-mindedness: "Dietrich's blue-sky idea of making money by selling pet rocks has everyone at the office laughing." However, using blue-sky figures to sell stock is far from simple-minded from the seller's perspective: "Having been convicted under the state's blue-sky laws, Miss Deeds will be seeing few blue skies for the next two years.

Word History: The conversion of this phrase to a word was motivated by the metaphorical use of the phrase to refer to a perfect day with no clouds, no rain. Notice that clouds (a dark and cloudy past) are associated with displeasure if not misdeeds, as is rain (don't rain on my parade). A blue sky indicates no problems, happiness, clear sailing in a sun-lit TV commercial, where the solution to any problem is only a purchase away. (We hope Bruce Spicer of McNees, Wallace & Nurik Law Firm in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is enjoying blue skies today—real ones. We thank him for suggesting this innocent word that unwittingly became a legal term for misbehavior.)
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Grand Panjandrum
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Re: Blue-sky

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sun Jul 20, 2014 1:18 pm

Since it's Sunday, at least here, let's hope Bruce is
enjoying blue skies out on the patio bar b cueing.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----

Perry Lassiter
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Re: Blue-sky

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sun Jul 20, 2014 4:35 pm

We also with some frequency use sky blue, pie-in-the-sky, reach for the sky, and high as the sky.

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Re: Blue-sky

Postby Slava » Sun Jul 20, 2014 5:19 pm

Don't forget castles in the clouds.
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.

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Re: Blue-sky

Postby call_copse » Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:28 am

I've heard and subsequently used this more frequently as part of the phrase 'blue-sky thinking' as in brainstorming, looking for new ideas unencumbered by reality for the time being. Similarly ungrounded but a little more kind to the word / phrase.

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