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on the record

Meaning: If you say something "on the record", you say it on the understanding that it will be part of the public record, and can be reported in the media.

For example:

  • Mr Lennon told reporters that everything he said was on the record because he was completely open and had nothing to hide from anyone.

  • The police commissioner said he couldn't comment on the record because the investigation was still ongoing.

Note: 1. Opposite to "off the record", which means something is said on the understanding that it won't be part of the public record, and won't be reported in the media. 2. If used to modify a noun or a noun phrase, hyphens must be added, as in "on-the-record comments".

Quick Quiz:

The newspaper's editor has to make sure all quotes are on the record before
  1. they are included
  2. they are corrected
  3. they are removed

Discuss: on the record

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