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toothpick rule

toothpick rule
 n.— «Even so, awareness of the new law is so high that Parven Pomper Vice President Alixandria Lapp, for one, made sure to run its reception menu by a lawyer before taking it to the caterers. Under what is known as the “toothpick rule,” a reception can offer only food and refreshment of a nominal value. “We are just following the guidelines of the ethics committee, and we are completely staying within what they have deemed appropriate,” Lapp said.» —“New ethics rules won’t spoil Democratic convention parties” by Cynthia Dizikes in Washington, D.C. Los Angeles Times Aug. 25, 2008. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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