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    #1

    a matter of life and death

    a serious or dangerous situation that you must deal with immediately in order to prevent something bad from happening
    The peace process is a matter of life or death in some regions.


    Which is correct, "a matter of life and death" or "a matter of life or death"?

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    #2

    Re: a matter of life and death

    'a matter of life and death'

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    #3

    Re: a matter of life and death

    Did the writer just make a typo?

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    #4

    Re: a matter of life and death

    Quote Originally Posted by Saki6 View Post
    Did the writer just make a typo?
    I doubt it. He probably just got it wrong.

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    #5

    Re: a matter of life and death

    Yes - a typo would have been a matter of life adn death.

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    #6

    Re: a matter of life and death

    NOT A TEACHER


    Hello, Saki6:

    I have found some information that may interest you.

    1. "A matter of life or death" is "more logical but less common."

    -- Kirkpatrick, Cliches (1999), courtesy of Google "Books."


    2. "Although 'a matter of life or death' makes more sense, it is rarely put that way."

    -- Ammer, The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms (2013), courtesy of Google "Books."

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    #7

    Re: a matter of life and death

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    1. "A matter of life or death" is "more logical but less common."

    -- Kirkpatrick, Cliches (1999), courtesy of Google "Books."


    2. "Although 'a matter of life or death' makes more sense, it is rarely put that way."

    -- Ammer, The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms (2013), courtesy of Google "Books."
    Well, it only makes more sense if you understand the phrase to be equivalent to something like a matter of either living or dying.

    I would suggest that this is not the only meaning the phrase has. In fact, I think there's a wider and deeper meaning in reference to something that is very important, and significant as much as can be. Significant beyond even the point of life, encompassing both life and death.

    Bill Shankly famously commented that "Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it's much more serious than that."

    I assume Mr. Shankly wasn't suggesting that football can be fatal; he was merely emphasising its importance.

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