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slippery slope

A situation in which some behavior or action will eventually lead to a worse form of the same behavior or action, or a disastrous outcome. Eating that piece of cake is a slippery slope that could lead to you completely abandoning your diet. Verbal abuse is often a slippery slope that leads to physical abuse.
See also: slippery, slope

on a slippery slope

In a situation in which some behavior or action will eventually lead to a worse form of the same behavior or action. We've been on a slippery slope of borrowing more money to pay off the debts we already owe. Activists fear that this latest legislation will put us on a slippery slope to stifling free speech.
See also: on, slippery, slope

slippery slope

a dangerous pathway or route to follow; a route that leads to trouble. The matter of euthanasia is a slippery slope with both legal and moral considerations.
See also: slippery, slope

slope away from something

to slant downward and away from something. The lawn sloped away from the patio toward the riverbank. The porch sloped away from the house at a very slight angle.
See also: away, slope

slope down (to something or some place)

to slant downward toward something or some place from a higher level. The wide white beach sloped down to the azure water. The yard sloped down, making a lovely view from the living room.
See also: down, slope

slope (down) toward something

to slant downward toward something. The backyard slopes down toward the river. It slopes toward the water.
See also: slope, toward

slope up (to something)

to slant upward in the direction of something. The ramp sloped up to the door, allowing wheelchairs to enter. It sloped up rather steeply.
See also: slope, up

slippery slope

A dangerous course, one that leads easily to catastrophe, as in He's on a slippery slope, compromising his values to please both the bosses and the union . This metaphoric expression alludes to traversing a slick hillside, in constant danger of falling. [Mid-1900s]
See also: slippery, slope

a slippery slope

COMMON A slippery slope is a course of action which is likely to lead to failure or serious trouble. It's a slippery slope. You give in to one demand and soon find that you're doing exactly what they want. The company started down the slippery slope of believing that they knew better than the customer, with the inevitable disastrous results. Note: You can also say that someone is on a slippery slope or on the slippery slope. These young people may already be on the slippery slope to criminality.
See also: slippery, slope

slippery slope

an idea or course of action which will lead inevitably to something unacceptable, wrong, or disastrous.
1998 Spectator Those of us who feared that devolution would not assuage nationalist sentiment but turn out to be the slippery slope to separatism have a good chance of being proved right.
See also: slippery, slope

the slippery ˈslope

a situation or way of behaving that could quickly lead to danger, disaster, failure, etc: Starting with shoplifting, he was soon on the slippery slope towards a life of crime.
See also: slippery, slope
References in periodicals archive ?
As shown in Figure 1, a fixture for an IBM-compatible, conventional QWERTY keyboard was built so the keyboard could be sloped at precise, predetermined positive and negative angles.
As the keyboard slope angle was sloped downward 30[degrees] from +15[degrees] to -15[degrees], wrist extension decreased approximately 13[degrees], as indicated in Table 3 and Figure 4, F(4, 108) = 140, p [less than].
1995), who found that a negatively sloped platform for a keyboard did not impair typing performance.
As shown in Table 1 and Figure 3, mean ulnar deviation increased significantly when the keyboard was sloped from +15[degrees] to -15[degrees] (2.
In theory, the increase in ulnar deviation from sloping the keyboard negatively may mitigate the health benefit of decreased wrist extension from negatively sloped keyboards.
Regarding ulnar deviation, it is not known whether the biomechanical effects of increased net reaction forces on tendons or carpal tunnel pressure on the median nerve are significant enough to increase the risk of WMSDs from typing on negatively sloped keyboards (as compared with positively sloped keyboards).
As depicted in Figure 4, results from this study show that when the keyboard was sloped from +15[degrees] to -15[degrees] (a 30[degrees] change in slope), mean wrist extension decreased approximately 13[degrees] from 21.
The location of the pivot point is important because when the wrist rest is sloped downward, the hand tends to follow it and therefore would result in less wrist extension than if the wrist rest were horizontal.
Hedge and Powers measured an average of 10 flexion when the participants were typing on a wrist rest integrated with the keyboard, and results from the present study show an average of 9[degrees] wrist extension when the keyboard (but not the wrist rest) was sloped downward 15[degrees].
The combination of keyboard height and slope that minimized wrist extension was a keyboard sloped 15[degrees] downward and elevated above elbow height.