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Joined: April 17, 2009  (email not validated)
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That's an interesting question. It reminds me of the phrase "cut the power!"
I haven't heard the phrase used to refer to light switches, but we do say "cut off" the electricity in reference to other things- such as disabling an electric fence. This seems to make more sense as it is clear in these cases you are literally cutting off a device's source of electric current; the verb seems less out of place.

So perhaps this has simply been adapted for the simple act of flicking a light switch?

As we know, speakers of the English language will happily reverse any statement they have learned to attempt to communicate its opposite, so I could easily see "cutting off" soon being accompanied by "cutting on".

bymeansof April 18, 2009, 8:07am

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I stumbled this page. This site is fantastic! I long for debates like this in my everyday life. "This sentence doesn't make sense but the reason it doesn't make sense is mysterious and intriguing; let's talk about it!"

I've found this direction of conversation has always been met with an expression that can only be described as a mixture of terror and despondence. I'm so desperate, however, that I choose to ignore my friends' unmistakable reactions and continue, attempting to spike the conversation with offhand references to monster trucks and explosions.

I apologize for interrupting. Please continue.

bymeansof April 17, 2009, 6:57pm

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