Origin of “Red Tape”

Do you know that the origin of the term “red tape”?

It comes from red ribbons used to tie up legal documents.  It can be dated back to 1736  in The Oxford English Dictionary in terms of its current meaning.

I learned this from Brian O’Keefe’s The Red Tape Conundrum  article,  which appears on the cover of the October 20th issue of Fortune. The premise is that regulation is the “biggest bogeyman in business—bigger, perhaps, than even taxes”.

 

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