Ever have a deadline that really isn't? Deadline: Make sure you supply feedback by Friday, the memo may say. Then the next Monday, you get a followup saying; Final Final Deadline, cob today! With these, I could probably wait till Wednesday, send in some comments, and still make it into the final edits.
But I think we do the word 'deadline' an injustice. Remembering back to my high school English class days, I can distinctly remember that I got this question wrong because the sweat made the ink on the palm of my hand illegible.
From the Random House Dictionary:
"The word deadline first appeared as an American coinage that referred to the line around a military prison beyond which soldiers were authorized to shoot escaping prisoners. According to Lossing's History of the Civil War (1868): "Seventeen feet from the inner stockade was the 'dead-line', over which no man could pass and live."
Be that as it may be, I see the need for a new taxonomy to describe the modern, soft, not-so-dead deadline. Henceforth, dates that can be pushed aside will be referred to as "Hurtlines" (British spelling "Pokeline").