Share

WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Turning a blind eye is an idiom describing the ignoring of undesirable information.

The phrase to turn a blind eye is attributed to an incident in the life of Admiral Horatio Nelson. Nelson was blinded in one eye early in his Royal Navy career. During the Battle of Copenhagen in 1801 the cautious Admiral Sir Hyde Parker, in overall command of the British forces, sent a signal to Nelson's forces ordering them to discontinue the action. Naval orders were transmitted via a system of signal flags at that time. When this order was brought to the more aggressive Nelson's attention, he lifted his telescope up to his blind eye, saying, "I have a right to be blind sometimes. I really do not see the signal," and most of his forces continued to press home the attack.[1][2] The frigates supporting the line-of-battle ships did break off, in one case suffering severe losses in the retreat.[3]

There is a misconception that the order was to be obeyed at Nelson's discretion, but this is contradicted by the fact that it was a general order to all the attacking ships (some of whom did break off), and that later that day Nelson openly stated that he had "fought contrary to orders". Sir Hyde Parker was recalled in disgrace and Nelson appointed Commander-in-Chief of the fleet following the battle.[3]

The Oxford English Dictionary records usage of the phrase as early as 1698.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hibbert, Christopher (1994). Nelson A Personal History. Basic Books. p. 261. ISBN 0-201-40800-7. 
  2. ^ Pocock, Tom (1987). Horatio Nelson. London: The Bodley Head. p. 237. ISBN 0-370-31124-8. 
  3. ^ a b Pope, Dudley (1972). The Great Gamble: Nelson at Copenhagen. New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 576. ISBN 0-671-21404-7. 
  4. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, s.v. eye http://www.oed.com

External links[edit]

Disclaimer

None of the audio/visual content is hosted on this site. All media is embedded from other sites such as GoogleVideo, Wikipedia, YouTube etc. Therefore, this site has no control over the copyright issues of the streaming media.

All issues concerning copyright violations should be aimed at the sites hosting the material. This site does not host any of the streaming media and the owner has not uploaded any of the material to the video hosting servers. Anyone can find the same content on Google Video or YouTube by themselves.

The owner of this site cannot know which documentaries are in public domain, which has been uploaded to e.g. YouTube by the owner and which has been uploaded without permission. The copyright owner must contact the source if he wants his material off the Internet completely.

Powered by YouTube
Wikipedia content is licensed under the GFDL and (CC) license