From The ABC Of Plain Words by Sir Ernest Gowers

Bottleneck is a useful and picturesque metaphor to denote the point of constriction of something that ought to be flowing freely:

Even if the manufacturers could obtain ample raw material, the shortage of skilled labour would constitute a bottleneck in production.

The metaphor is not new, but it has recently had a sharp rise in popularity, perhaps because our economy has been so full of bottlenecks. It needs to be handled carefully in order to avoid absurdity: it is necessary to remember that the most troublesome bottleneck is not the biggest but the smallest.

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