What does “off the record” really mean


What does “off the record” really mean

I get frustrated when I call and talk to folks and they say "now this is off the record." What does that mean — does it mean they simply don’t want their name connected to the information, or that the information can’t be used.

What if the conversation was very general, but the speaker didn’t want his/her boss to know she/he was talking to me?  What if he/she went "off the record" in the middle of a sentence. Was everything before the "off the record" on, and everything after "off."

I had a great conversation with a friend the other day. It dealt with some significant issues in the parking business. I want to talk, write, and blog about it. Half way through it, she/he went "off the record." Does this mean I can’t talk or write about the subject? 

I think not.  I should and will observe his/her privacy. But if the information is not libelous and is general in its topic, then why not. Surely if someone tells me in confidence that a certain parking company is up for sale, or that so in so has taken a new position with suchen such a company, then I must honor that confidence.  But if I hear it from a bunch of sources, then why not?

Any comments?


John Van Horn

John Van Horn

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Only show results from:

Recent Posts

A Note from a Friend

I received this from John Clancy. Now retired, John worked in the technology side of the industry for decades. I don’t think this needs any

Read More »

Look out the Window

If there is any advice I can give it’s concerning the passing scene. “Look out the window.” Rather than listen to CNN or the New

Read More »


See all Blog Posts

Send message to

    We use cookies to monitor our website and support our customers. View our Privacy Policy