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An area that is known to contain many land mines; and thus cautious people either:
  • Avoid it altogether.
  • Are extremely careful where they step.
  • Drive through the area on a vehicle equipped for mine clearing. This usually means very heavy vehicles with lots of very heavy armour on the bottom to withstand the explosions. Tends to upset people though, as it is very noisy and the people likely to be near a minefield aren't likely to be particularly endeared of those sort of sounds.
  • Follow this quote from Black Adder:
    G: "If we do happen to step on a mine, Sir, what do we do ?"
    EB: "Normal procedure, Lieutenant, is to jump 200 feet in the air and scatter oneself over a wide area."

In modern usage, however, it is usually used to denote an issue of discussion that is so sensitive and controversial that even the slightest slip is likely to offend someone deeply or land you in court. For example xenotransplantation, abortion and genetic engineering are all ethical minefields.

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