Your Pain Is Our Pleasure
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September 9, 2021
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An example from "Sharpe's Eagle", set during the Napoleonic Wars. After a disastrous skirmish with the French, the South Essex regiment chief, Colonel Sir Simmerson, tries to lay blame on a major who was killed and otherwise thoroughly discredit him. General Wellesley sees right through it and after tearing him a new one, announces "The South Essex is stood down in name. If I wipe the name, I may wipe the shame. I am making you a battalion of detachments; you will fetch and carry. The Light Company put up a fight, so I will let it stand under the command of a new captain."
This leads me to believe that when you are stood down, that is someone stands you down instead of standing down yourself, you are effectively being suspended from your current active role, and it carries a punitive connotation compared to asking someone to stand down, which is more neutral and is effectively a synonym for "calm down" or "stop what you're doing".
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