Date: Wed, 11 Sep 1996 10:51:59 -0700


Subject: Re: offload

On Wed, 11 Sep 1996, M. Lynne Murphy wrote:

On this morning's traffic report, the speaker warned motorists of an overturned tractor trailer on the east bound lane of the Schuykill Expressway (leading

to Philadelphia). The cargo was a load of beer, and the road would be

closed until the beer could be "offloaded." The term offload (off-load)?

was repeated several times by others on the radio and on TV, leading me to

assume the term was used in the original report.

Has anyone heard this term before?

i know this more in terms of "get rid of" rather than "unload". as

in "we offloaded our backstock of souvenir ashtrays onto some

unsuspecting tourists."

lynne m.

Funny! My perception is just the opposite. I know I have heard "offload"

quite a bit, without remarking on it as new, though I suppose it is. The

meaning was always the same as "unload" in its literal sense. (Sorry, I

can't supply any specific citations.) But I have known "unload" in the

meaning "palm off on someone who out of politeness or naivete will be

unable to resist" for a long time.

Peter McGraw

Linfield College

McMinnville, OR