Talk:canary in a coal mine

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Wiktionary:Requests for verification - kept[edit]

Kept. See archived discussion of December 2008. 07:00, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

But methane is not toxic. It's flammable though, and explosive. And also, as for any gas in air, for the same pressure, the more methane there is, the less air there is. —This comment was unsigned.

Thanks. I changed "poisonous gases" to "dangerous gases". DCDuring TALK 04:01, 3 August 2011 (UTC)


The canary is not the warning; the canary's death is the warning. The canary is a sensitive indicator of an emerging condition that presumably gives the miners a chance to do something about the problem. DCDuring TALK 22:37, 7 December 2012 (UTC)

Good point. But as far as the idiom goes, I don't think it necessarily matters that the "canary" is especially sensitive to the adverse conditions, only that it's the first to fall to them. Which is to say that something could be no more vulnerable to the conditions than anything else, but simply nearest to their point of origin, and thus first to be affected by them. The first city to be hit by a disease that turns into a pandemic, for example. I added another part to the definition to account for that. Astral (talk) 00:15, 8 December 2012 (UTC)

Maybe the word "allusion" should be avoided. I obviously did not know this word, and after a quick reading on the meaning, thought that carrying the canary to provide safety was an "illusion" and that it provided false sense of security. Otherwise, expand on the description so as to clearly state the canary DOES indeed help safe live.