[Gnso-ppsai-pdp-wg] The threshold question before Category C, Question 1

Stephanie Perrin stephanie.perrin at mail.utoronto.ca
Tue Apr 29 19:03:19 UTC 2014

I am sorry to have missed today’s meeting, I am in transit.  However, I would respectfully disagree with the evident discomfort over the expression “going down a rathole”.  This is a time-honoured British expression and is used extensively to refer to disappearing down a small hole that turns into a cavernous expanse, and swallows up time and resources.  I am having trouble pulling up the OED complete in the airport lounge over crummy wifi, but I do not believe the term itself implies disrespect in any way, merely that the thread of conversation has apparently disappeared and it is not clear where it went.  I will send you the historical derivation when I dig it up, but I believe it is very old, possibly even Anglo saxon (Old English) and is derived from the practice of sending ferrets down ratholes, where they would disappear for a happy afternoon of killing rats, emerging possibly hours later.  (Hence also the expression “ferreting out”, as some lucky rodents would scramble out the holes, only to be nabbed by waiting dogs.)  Small terriers were used for the same thing in barns, outbuildings, granaries, and slaughterhouses, where they would fit.  This, in an agrarian society, is a good thing, not a bad thing. 
So since it is one of my favourite expressions, and I have heard it regularly in polite discourse, I would not dissuade Volker from adapting it.  Our language becomes ever more colourless and rootless every day. 
Sent without knowing who said what to whom, only that the expression itself is time-honoured and should not be construed in itself as offensive.  
cheers Stephanie
PS if I cannot find positive references in the OED, be warned, Sweet’s Anglo-Saxon grammar will be next, then the Old Norse dictionary….
On Apr 29, 2014, at 11:35 AM, James M. Bladel <jbladel at godaddy.com> wrote:

> And as someone who echoed the term verbally and in the chat, I also apologize and withdraw. 
> Thank you--
> J.
> Sent from my iPad
> On Apr 29, 2014, at 10:11, "Kathy Kleiman" <kathy at kathykleiman.com> wrote:
>> +1, 2 and 3 to Tim, but with apologies to the Chair for the rhetoric.  The term "rathole" popped out. I withdraw it and apologize to anyone anyone I inadvertently offended.  
>> Best,
>> Kathy
>>  :
>>> Agree with further discussion of the threshold here. I do not appreciate that the Chair just decides to call some of our concerns "rhetoric" and then decide on his own to move on. Steve, normally I consider you a very reasonable and fair WG member, here and in the past. But that was uncalled for and clearly panders to your own personal view, not that of the WG as a whole. As a result, this must be discussed further next week.
>>> Tim
>>> From: gnso-ppsai-pdp-wg-bounces at icann.org <gnso-ppsai-pdp-wg-bounces at icann.org> on behalf of Kathy Kleiman <kathy at kathykleiman.com>
>>> Sent: Tuesday, April 29, 2014 10:04 AM
>>> To: gnso-ppsai-pdp-wg at icann.org
>>> Subject: [Gnso-ppsai-pdp-wg] The threshold question before Category C, Question 1
>>> Hi All,
>>> Here's the threshold question we agreed to discuss *before* entering into the specific issues of the area:
>>> Threshold Question:
>>> Currently, proxy/privacy services are available to companies, noncommercial organizations and individuals.  Should there be any change to this aspect of the current system in the new accreditation standards?1
>>> 1 Several WG members noted that some questions in this Section are somewhat conditional, in that a Yes/No answer to one may obviate the need to answer others. The “use” of a domain for specific purposes may also implicate content questions. The WG agreed that these issues should be flagged for discussion when considering the WG’s response to this Section.
>>> Best,
>>> Kathy 
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