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    #1

    start over with a clean slate

    What does this expression mean? When can we use it? Why do we use the word "slate" in it?

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: start over with a clean slate

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    What does this expression mean? When can we use it? Why do we use the word "slate" in it?
    I believe it goes back to the days when writing was done on a piece of slate using a piece of chalk.

    When the slate was full (no more space left on it), you would have to erase the writing in order to start again (start over) with a "clean slate".

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: start over with a clean slate



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    #4

    Re: start over with a clean slate

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    What does this expression mean? When can we use it? Why do we use the word "slate" in it?
    Not a teacher.

    I believe it means 'to have a fresh start with a clear conscience'

    A person has committed a crime but they have made up for what they have done wrong and intend to now live an honest life then they could be described as starting over with a clean slate.

    Slate was used to write on many years ago so it refers to the idea of having a clean conscience to move forward without the past dragging you down.

    It may refer to other situations but this is one that comes to mind.

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    #5

    Re: start over with a clean slate

    Thank you!

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: start over with a clean slate

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I believe it goes back to the days when writing was done on a piece of slate using a piece of chalk...
    Smile when you say that (I used one at school in the mid '50s.)

    b

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    #7

    Re: start over with a clean slate

    PS Another version of 'clean slate' is the Latin tabula rasa - which is still sometimes used in Br. Eng, and refers to an earlier writing technology. The tabula was a sort of tray filled with wax. The writer scratched the characters with a stylus, and shaved of the top layer (think of 'razor') in order to start afresh.

    b

  5. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: start over with a clean slate

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Smile when you say that (I used one at school in the mid '50s.)

    b
    Ah, back in the days when children were actually TAUGHT!

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