DEEn Dictionary De - En
DeEs De - Es
DePt De - Pt
 Vocabulary trainer

Spec. subjects Grammar Abbreviations Random search Preferences
Search in Sprachauswahl
Search for:
Mini search box
Proverbs, aphorisms, quotations (English) by Linux fortune

> Is there an API or other means to determine what video card, namely the
> chipset, that the user has installed on his machine?

On a modern X86 machine use the PCI/AGP bus data. On a PS/2 use the MCA bus
data. On nubus use the nubus probe data. On old style ISA bus PCs done a
large pointy hat and spend several years reading arcane and forbidden

        - Alan Cox on hardware probing
That means I'll have to use $ans to suppress newlines now.
Life is ridiculous.
             -- Larry Wall in Configure from the perl distribution
We didn't put in ^^ because then we'd have to keep telling people what
it means, and then we'd have to keep telling them why it doesn't short
circuit.  :-/
             -- Larry Wall in <>
I was trying not to mention backtracking.  Which, of course, means that
yours is "righter" than mine, in a theoretical sense.
             -- Larry Wall in <>
Wow, I'm being shot at from both sides.  That means I *must* be right.  :-)
             -- Larry Wall in <>
  Procrastination means never having to say you're sorry.
Dyslexia means never having to say that you're ysror.
        "Found it," the Mouse replied rather crossly: "of course you know
what 'it' means."
        "I know what 'it' means well enough, when I find a thing," said the
Duck: "it's generally a frog or a worm.  The question is, what did the
archbishop find?"
If the ends don't justify the means, then what does?
        -- Robert Moses
Quod erat demonstrandum.
        [Thus it is proven.  For those who wondered WTF QED means.]
There are no rules for March.  March is spring, sort of, usually, March
means maybe, but don't bet on it.
Anything labeled "NEW" and/or "IMPROVED" isn't.  The label means the
price went up.  The label "ALL NEW", "COMPLETELY NEW", or "GREAT NEW"
means the price went way up.
But the greatest Electrical Pioneer of them all was Thomas Edison, who was a
brilliant inventor despite the fact that he had little formal education and
lived in New Jersey.  Edison's first major invention in 1877, was the
phonograph, which could soon be found in thousands of American homes, where
it basically sat until 1923, when the record was invented.  But Edison's
greatest achievement came in 1879, when he invented the electric company.
Edison's design was a brilliant adaptation of the simple electrical circuit:
the electric company sends electricity through a wire to a customer, then
immediately gets the electricity back through another wire, then (this is
the brilliant part) sends it right back to the customer again.

This means that an electric company can sell a customer the same batch of
electricity thousands of times a day and never get caught, since very few
customers take the time to examine their electricity closely. In fact the
last year any new electricity was generated in the United States was 1937;
the electric companies have been merely re-selling it ever since, which is
why they have so much free time to apply for rate increases.
                -- Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"
Retirement means that when someone says "Have a nice day", you
actually have a shot at it.
The means-and-ends moralists, or non-doers, always end up on their ends
without any means.
                -- Saul Alinsky
This is an especially good time for you vacationers who plan to fly, because
the Reagan administration, as part of the same policy under which it
recently sold Yellowstone National Park to Wayne Newton, has "deregulated"
the airline industry.  What this means for you, the consumer, is that the
airlines are no longer required to follow any rules whatsoever.  They can
show snuff movies.  They can charge for oxygen.  They can hire pilots right
out of Vending Machine Refill Person School.  They can conserve fuel by
ejecting husky passengers over water.  They can ram competing planes in
mid-air.  These innovations have resulted in tremendous cost savings which
have been passed along to you, the consumer, in the form of flights with
amazingly low fares, such as $29.  Of course, certain restrictions do apply,
the main one being that all these flights take you to Newark, and you must
pay thousands of dollars if you want to fly back out.
                -- Dave Barry, "Iowa -- Land of Secure Vacations"
What I mean (and everybody else means) by the word QUALITY cannot be
broken down into subjects and predicates.  This is not because Quality
is so mysterious but because Quality is so simple, immediate, and direct.
                -- R. Pirsig, "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance"
        The optimum committee has no members.
        Hiring consultants to conduct studies can be an excellent means of
        turning problems into gold -- your problems into their gold.
        Fools rush in where incumbents fear to tread.
        The process of competitively selecting contractors to perform work
        is based on a system of rewards and penalties, all distributed
        The weaker the data available upon which to base one's conclusion,
        the greater the precision which should be quoted in order to give
        the data authenticity.
                -- Norman Augustine
Brief History Of Linux (#3)
Lawyers Unite

Humanity faced a tremendous setback ca. 1100 A.D., when the first law
school was established in Bologna. Ironically, the free exchange of ideas
at the law school spurred the law students to invent new ways (patents,
trademarks, copyrights) to stifle the free exchange of ideas in other

If, at some point in the future, you happen upon a time machine, we here
at Humorix (and, indeed, the whole world) implore you to travel back to
1100, track down a law teacher called Irnerius, and prevent him from
founding his school using whatever means necessary. Your contribution to
humanity will truly make the world (in an alternate timeline) a better
Alas, I am dying beyond my means.
                -- Oscar Wilde [as he sipped champagne on his deathbed]
The ends justify the means.
                -- after Matthew Prior
        "I'll tell you what I know, then," he decided.  "The pin I'm wearing
means I'm a member of the IA.  That's Inamorati Anonymous.  An inamorato is
somebody in love.  That's the worst addiction of all."
        "Somebody is about to fall in love," Oedipa said, "you go sit with
them, or something?"
        "Right.  The whole idea is to get where you don't need it.  I was
lucky.  I kicked it young.  But there are sixty-year-old men, believe it or
not, and women even older, who might wake up in the night screaming."
        "You hold meetings, then, like the AA?"
        "No, of course not.  You get a phone number, an answering service
you can call.  Nobody knows anybody else's name; just the number in case
it gets so bad you can't handle it alone.  We're isolates, Arnold.  Meetings
would destroy the whole point of it."
                -- Thomas Pynchon, "The Crying of Lot 49"
Love means having to say you're sorry every five minutes.
Love means never having to say you're sorry.
                -- Eric Segal, "Love Story"

That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard.
                -- Ryan O'Neill, "What's Up Doc?"
Sorry never means having your say to love.
There is only one way to be happy by means of the heart -- to have none.
                -- Paul Bourget
Being a mime means never having to say you're sorry.
If Beethoven's Seventh Symphony is not by some means abridged, it will soon
fall into disuse.
                -- Philip Hale, Boston music critic, 1837
Please, won't somebody tell me what diddie-wa-diddie means?
        The big problem with pornography is defining it.  You can't just
say it's pictures of people naked.  For example, you have these
primitive African tribes that exist by chasing the wildebeest on foot,
and they have to go around largely naked, because, as the old tribal
saying goes: "N'wam k'honi soit qui mali," which means, "If you think
you can catch a wildebeest in this climate and wear clothes at the same
time, then I have some beach front property in the desert region of
Northern Mali that you may be interested in."
        So it's not considered pornographic when National Geographic
publishes color photographs of these people hunting the wildebeest
naked, or pounding one rock onto another rock for some primitive reason
naked, or whatever.  But if National Geographic were to publish an
article entitled "The Girls of the California Junior College System
Hunt the Wildebeest Naked," some people would call it pornography.  But
others would not.  And still others, such as the Spectacularly Rev.
Jerry Falwell, would get upset about seeing the wildebeest naked.
                -- Dave Barry, "Pornography"
There's a trick to the Graceful Exit.  It begins with the vision to
recognize when a job, a life stage, a relationship is over -- and to let
go.  It means leaving what's over without denying its validity or its
past importance in our lives.  It involves a sense of future, a belief
that every exit line is an entry, that we are moving on, rather than out.
The trick of retiring well may be the trick of living well.  It's hard to
recognize that life isn't a holding action, but a process.  It's hard to
learn that we don't leave the best parts of ourselves behind, back in the
dugout or the office. We own what we learned back there.  The experiences
and the growth are grafted onto our lives.  And when we exit, we can take
ourselves along -- quite gracefully.
                -- Ellen Goodman
<Overfiend> Thunder-: when you get { MessagesLikeThisFromYourHardDrive }
<Overfiend> Thunder-: it either means { TheDriverIsScrewy }
<Overfiend> or
<Overfiend> { YourDriveIsFlakingOut BackUpYourDataBeforeIt'sTooLate
            PrayToGod }
<Knghtbrd> it's too bad most old unices turned out y2k compliant
<Knghtbrd> because it means people will STILL BE RUNNING THEM in 30 years
<Knghtbrd> it would have been so much nicer if y2k effectively killed off
           hpux, aix, sunos, etc  ;>
<Espy> Knghtbrd: since when are PH-UX, aches, and solartus "old"?
<Deek> "A good programmer can write FORTRAN in any language."
<Deek> knghtbrd has proven that you can write C++ in any language too.
<Mercury> We are currently considdering if we should give him or prize, or
          kill him..
<Mercury> (Of course, by all rights, this means we should give him the
          prize, and then kill him.. <G>)
Good weapons are instruments of fear; all creatures hate them.
Therefore followers of Tao never use them.
The wise man prefers the left.
The man of war prefers the right.

Weapons are instruments of fear; they are not a wise man's tools.
He uses them only when he has no choice.
Peace and quiet are dear to his heart,
And victory no cause for rejoicing.
If you rejoice in victory, then you delight in killing;
If you delight in killing, you cannot fulfill yourself.

On happy occasions precedence is given to the left,
On sad occasions to the right.
In the army the general stands on the left,
The commander-in-chief on the right.
This means that war is conducted like a funeral.
When many people are being killed,
They should be mourned in heartfelt sorrow.
That is why a victory must be observed like a funeral.
Everyone under heaven says that my Tao is great and beyond compare.
Because it is great, it seems different.
If it were not different, it would have vanished long ago.

I have three treasures which I hold and keep.
The first is mercy; the second is economy;
The third is daring not to be ahead of others.
From mercy comes courage; from economy comes generosity;
From humility comes leadership.

Nowadays men shun mercy, but try to be brave;
They abandon economy, but try to be generous;
They do not believe in humility, but always try to be first.
This is certain death.

Mercy brings victory in battle and strength in defense.
It is the means by which heaven saves and guards.
If men are not afraid to die,
It is no avail to threaten them with death.

If men live in constant fear of dying,
And if breaking the law means that a man will be killed,
Who will dare to break the law?

There is always an official executioner.
If you try to take his place,
It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood.
If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.
Pardon me, but do you know what it means to be TRULY ONE with your BOOTH!
Biology is the only science in which multiplication means the same thing
as division.
Electricity is actually made up of extremely tiny particles, called
electrons, that you cannot see with the naked eye unless you have been
drinking.  Electrons travel at the speed of light, which in most American
homes is 110 volts per hour.  This is very fast.  In the time it has taken
you to read this sentence so far, an electron could have traveled all the
way from San Francisco to Hackensack, New Jersey, although God alone knows
why it would want to.

The five main kinds of electricity are alternating current, direct current,
lightning, static, and European.  Most American homes have alternating
current, which means that the electricity goes in one direction for a while,
then goes in the other direction.  This prevents harmful electron buildup in
the wires.
                -- Dave Barry, "The Taming of the Screw"
In a minimum-phase system there is an inextricable link between
frequency response, phase response and transient response, as they
are all merely transforms of one another.  This combined with
minimalization of open-loop errors in output amplifiers and correct
compensation for non-linear passive crossover network loading can
lead to a significant decrease in system resolution lost.  However,
this all means jack when you listen to Pink Floyd.
It seems intuitively obvious to me, which means that it might be wrong.
                -- Chris Torek
Nondeterminism means never having to say you are wrong.
One can't proceed from the informal to the formal by formal means.
Progress means replacing a theory that is wrong with one more subtly wrong.
        "Reintegration complete," ZORAC advised.  "We're back in the
universe again..."  An unusually long pause followed, "...but I don't
know which part.  We seem to have changed our position in space."  A
spherical display in the middle of the floor illuminated to show the
starfield surrounding the ship.
        "Several large, artificial constructions are approaching us,"
ZORAC announced after a short pause.  "The designs are not familiar, but
they are obviously the products of intelligence.  Implications: we have
been intercepted deliberately by a means unknown, for a purpose unknown,
and transferred to a place unknown by a form of intelligence unknown.
Apart from the unknowns, everything is obvious."
                -- James P. Hogan, "Giants Star"
Statistics means never having to say you're certain.
Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means
for going backwards.
                -- Aldous Huxley
The temperature of Heaven can be rather accurately computed from available
data.  Our authority is Isaiah 30:26, "Moreover, the light of the Moon
shall be as the light of the Sun and the light of the Sun shall be sevenfold,
as the light of seven days."  Thus Heaven receives from the Moon as much
radiation as we do from the Sun, and in addition seven times seven (49) times
as much as the Earth does from the Sun, or fifty times in all.  The light we
receive from the Moon is one ten-thousandth of the light we receive from the
Sun, so we can ignore that.  With these data we can compute the temperature
of Heaven.  The radiation falling on Heaven will heat it to the point where
the heat lost by radiation is just equal to the heat received by radiation,
i.e., Heaven loses fifty times as much heat as the Earth by radiation.  Using
the Stefan-Boltzmann law for radiation, (H/E)^4 = 50, where E is the absolute
temperature of the earth (~300K), gives H as 798K (525C).  The exact
temperature of Hell cannot be computed, but it must be less than 444.6C, the
temperature at which brimstone or sulphur changes from a liquid to a gas.
Revelations 21:8 says "But the fearful, and unbelieving ... shall have their
part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone."  A lake of molten
brimstone means that its temperature must be at or below the boiling point,
or 444.6C  (Above this point it would be a vapor, not a lake.)  We have,
then, that Heaven, at 525C is hotter than Hell at 445C.
                -- "Applied Optics", vol. 11, A14, 1972
To converse at the distance of the Indes by means of sympathetic contrivances
may be as natural to future times as to us is a literary correspondence.
                -- Joseph Glanvill, 1661
Human society - man in a group - rises out of its lethargy to new levels of
productivity only under the stimulus of deeply inspiring and commonly
appreciated goals.  A lethargic world serves no cause well; a spirited world
working diligently toward earnestly desired goals provides the means and
the strength toward which many ends can be unparalleled
social accomplishment.
- Dr. Lloyd V. Berkner, in "The History of Manned Space Flight"
"I've finally learned what `upward compatible' means.        It means we
  get to keep all our old mistakes."
-- Dennie van Tassel
"There's always been Tower of Babel sort of bickering inside Unix, but this
is the most extreme form ever.  This means at least several years of confusion."
-- Bill Gates, founder and chairman of Microsoft,
   about the Open Systems Foundation
Mr. DePree also expects a "tremendous social change" in all workplaces.  "When
I first started working 40 years ago, a factory supervisor was focused on the
product.  Today it is drastically different, because of the social milieu.
It isn't unusual for a worker to arrive on his shift and have some family
problem that he doesn't know how to resolve.  The example I like to use is a
guy who comes in and says 'this isn't going to be a good day for me, my son
is in jail on a drunk-driving charge and I don't know how to raise bail.'
What that means is that if the supervisor wants productivity, he has to know
how to raise bail."
-- Max DePree, chairman and CEO of Herman Miller Inc., "Herman Miller's
   Secrets of Corporate Creativity", The Wall Street Journal, May 3, 1988
"A commercial, and in some respects a social, doubt has been started within the
last year or two, whether or not it is right to discuss so openly the security
or insecurity of locks.  Many well-meaning persons suppose that the discus-
sion respecting the means for baffling the supposed safety of locks offers a
premium for dishonesty, by showing others how to be dishonest.  This is a fal-
lacy.  Rogues are very keen in their profession, and already know much more
than we can teach them respecting their several kinds of roguery.  Rogues knew
a good deal about lockpicking long before locksmiths discussed it among them-
selves, as they have lately done.  If a lock -- let it have been made in what-
ever country, or by whatever maker -- is not so inviolable as it has hitherto
been deemed to be, surely it is in the interest of *honest* persons to know
this fact, because the *dishonest* are tolerably certain to be the first to
apply the knowledge practically; and the spread of knowledge is necessary to
give fair play to those who might suffer by ignorance.  It cannot be too ear-
nestly urged, that an acquaintance with real facts will, in the end, be better
for all parties."
-- Charles Tomlinson's Rudimentary Treatise on the Construction of Locks,
   published around 1850
"To IBM, 'open' means there is a modicum of interoperability among some of their
-- Harv Masterson
The reported resort to astrology in the White House has occasioned much
merriment.  It is not funny.  Astrological gibberish, which means astrology
generally, has no place in a newspaper, let alone government.  Unlike comics,
which are part of a newspaper's harmless pleasure and make no truth claims,
astrology is a fraud.  The idea that it gets a hearing in government is
-- George Will, Washing Post Writers Group
"Anyone attempting to generate random numbers by deterministic means is, of
course, living in a state of sin."
-- John Von Neumann
"To undertake a project, as the word's derivation indicates, means to cast an
idea out ahead of oneself so that it gains autonomy and is fulfilled not only
by the efforts of its originator but, indeed, independently of him as well.
-- Czeslaw Milosz
"You and I as individuals can, by borrowing, live beyond our means, but
only for a limited period of time.  Why should we think that collectively,
as a nation, we are not bound by that same limitation?"
-- Ronald Reagan
"And it should be the law: If you use the word `paradigm' without knowing what
the dictionary says it means, you go to jail. No exceptions."
-- David Jones @ Megatest Corporation
New York's got the ways and means;
Just won't let you be.
                -- The Grateful Dead
Oh give me your pity!
I'm on a committee,                        We attend and amend
Which means that from morning                And contend and defend
        to night,                        Without a conclusion in sight.

We confer and concur,
We defer and demur,                        We revise the agenda
And reiterate all of our thoughts.        With frequent addenda
                                        And consider a load of reports.

We compose and propose,
We suppose and oppose,                        But though various notions
And the points of procedure are fun;        Are brought up as motions,
                                        There's terribly little gets done.

We resolve and absolve;
But we never dissolve,
Since it's out of the question for us
To bring our committee
To end like this ditty,
Which stops with a period, thus.
                -- Leslie Lipson, "The Committee"
        Proposed Country & Western Song Titles
I Don't Mind If You Lie to Me, As Long As I Ain't Lyin' Alone
I Wouldn't Take You to a Dog Fight Even If I Thought You Could Win
If You Leave Me, Walk Out Backwards So I'll Think You're Comin' In
Since You Learned to Lip-Sync, I'm At Your Disposal
My John Deere Was Breaking Your Field, While Your Dear John Was
        Breaking My Heart
Don't Cry, Little Darlin', You're Waterin' My Beer
Tennis Must Be Your Racket, 'Cause Love Means Nothin' to You
When You Say You Love Me, You're Full of Prunes, 'Cause Living
        With You Is the Pits
I Wanted Your Hand in Marriage but All I Got Was the Finger
                -- "Wordplay"
There's a thrill in store for all for we're about to toast
The corporation that we represent.
We're here to cheer each pioneer and also proudly boast,
Of that man of men our sterling president
The name of T.J. Watson means
A courage none can stem
And we feel honored to be here to toast the IBM.
                -- Ever Onward, from the 1940 IBM Songbook
Time washes clean
Love's wounds unseen.
That's what someone told me;
But I don't know what it means.
                -- Linda Ronstadt, "Long Long Time"
to be nobody but yourself in a world
which is doing its best night and day
to make you like everybody else
means to fight the hardest battle
any human being can fight and
never stop fighting.                  
                -- e.e. cummings
When someone makes a move                We'll send them all we've got,
Of which we don't approve,                John Wayne and Randolph Scott,
Who is it that always intervenes?        Remember those exciting fighting scenes?
U.N. and O.A.S.,                        To the shores of Tripoli,
They have their place, I guess,                But not to Mississippoli,
But first, send the Marines!                What do we do?  We send the Marines!

For might makes right,                        Members of the corps
And till they've seen the light,        All hate the thought of war:
They've got to be protected,                They'd rather kill them off by
                                                peaceful means.
All their rights respected,                Stop calling it aggression--
Till somebody we like can be elected.        We hate that expression!
                                        We only want the world to know
                                        That we support the status quo;
                                        They love us everywhere we go,
                                        So when in doubt, send the Marines!
                -- Tom Lehrer, "Send The Marines"
"`Hey this is terrific!' Zaphod said. `Someone down there
is trying to kill us!'
`Terrific,' said Arthur.
`But don't you see what this means?'
`Yes. We are going to die.'
`Yes, but apart from that.'
`APART from that?'
`It means we must be on to something!'
`How soon can we get off it?'"

- Zaphod and Arthur in a certain death situation over
Easiest Color to Solve on a Rubik's Cube:        Black.

Simply remove all the little colored stickers on the cube, and each of
side of the cube will now be the original color of the plastic underneath
-- black.  According to the instructions, this means the puzzle is solved.
                -- Steve Rubenstein
Love means nothing to a tennis player.
I hate it when my foot falls asleep during the day cause that means
it's going to be up all night.
                -- Steven Wright
Some of you ... may have decided that, this year, you're going to celebrate
it the old-fashioned way, with your family sitting around stringing
cranberries and exchanging humble, handmade gifts, like on "The Waltons".
Well, you can forget it.  If everybody pulled that kind of subversive stunt,
the economy would collapse overnight.  The government would have to
intervene: it would form a cabinet-level Department of Holiday Gift-Giving,
which would spend billions and billions of tax dollars to buy Barbie dolls
and electronic games, which it would drop on the populace from Air Force
jets, killing and maiming thousands.  So, for the good of the nation, you
should go along with the Holiday Program.  This means you should get a large
sum of money and go to a mall.
                -- Dave Barry, "Christmas Shopping: A Survivor's Guide"
        "What shall we do?" said Twoflower.
        "Panic?" said Rincewind hopefully.  He always held that panic was
the best means of survival; back in the olden days, his theory went, people
faced with hungry sabretoothed tigers could be divided very simply into
those who panicked and those who stood there saying "What a magnificent
brute!" and "Here, pussy."
                -- Terry Pratchett, "The Light Fantastic"
You should tip the waiter $10, minus $2 if he tells you his name, another $2
if he claims it will be His Pleasure to serve you and another $2 for each
"special" he describes involving confusing terms such as "shallots," and $4
if the menu contains the word "fixin's." In many restaurants, this means the
waiter will actually owe you money. If you are traveling with a child aged
six months to three years, you should leave an additional amount equal to
twice the bill to compensate for the fact that they will have to take the
banquette out and burn it because the cracks are wedged solid with gobbets
made of partially chewed former restaurant rolls saturated with baby spit.

In New York, tip the taxicab driver $40 if he does not mention his hemorrhoids.
                -- Dave Barry, "The Stuff of Etiquette"

        You should consider it a privilege to contribute, however modestly,
        to the well-being of physicians and other humanitarians.

        It is sheer arrogance to contract illnesses that are beyond your means.

        The patient-doctor relationship is a privileged one, and you have a
        sacred duty to protect him from exposure.

        This will only cause him needless inconvenience and embarrassment.
For my son, Robert, this is proving to be the high-point of his entire life
to date.  He has had his pajamas on for two, maybe three days now.  He has
the sense of joyful independence a 5-year-old child gets when he suddenly
realizes that he could be operating an acetylene torch in the coat closet
and neither parent [because of the flu] would have the strength to object.
He has been foraging for his own food, which means his diet consists
entirely of "food" substances which are advertised only on Saturday-morning
cartoon shows; substances that are the color of jukebox lights and that, for
legal reasons, have their names spelled wrong, as in New Creemy
Chok-'n'-Cheez Lumps o' Froot ("part of this complete breakfast").
                -- Dave Barry, "Molecular Homicide"
[From an announcement of a congress of the International Ontopsychology
Association, in Rome]:

The Ontopsychological school, availing itself of new research criteria and
of a new telematic epistemology, maintains that social modes do not spring
from dialectics of territory or of class, or of consumer goods, or of means
of power, but rather from dynamic latencies capillarized in millions of
individuals in system functions which, once they have reached the event
maturation, burst forth in catastrophic phenomenology engaging a suitable
stereotype protagonist or duty marionette (general, president, political
party, etc.) to consummate the act of social schizophrenia in mass genocide.
When a lot of remedies are suggested for a disease, that means it can't
be cured.
                -- Anton Chekhov, "The Cherry Orchard"
It [being a Vulcan] means to adopt a philosophy, a way of life which is
logical and beneficial.  We cannot disregard that philosophy merely for
personal gain, no matter how important that gain might be.
                -- Spock, "Journey to Babel", stardate 3842.4
Eleventh Law of Acoustics:
        In a minimum-phase system there is an inextricable link between
        frequency response, phase response and transient response, as they
        are all merely transforms of one another.  This combined with
        minimalization of open-loop errors in output amplifiers and correct
        compensation for non-linear passive crossover network loading can
        lead to a significant decrease in system resolution lost.  However,
        of course, this all means jack when you listen to Pink Floyd.
feature, n:
        A surprising property of a program.  Occasionaly documented.  To
        call a property a feature sometimes means the author did not
        consider that case, and the program makes an unexpected, though
        not necessarily wrong response.  See BUG.  "That's not a bug, it's
        a feature!"  A bug can be changed to a feature by documenting it.
Newlan's Truism:
        An "acceptable" level of unemployment means that the
        government economist to whom it is acceptable still has a job.
        A vagrant opinion without visible means of support.
                -- Ambrose Bierce
Rules for driving in New York:
        (1) Anything done while honking your horn is legal.
        (2) You may park anywhere if you turn your four-way flashers on.
        (3) A red light means the next six cars may go through the
The Great Bald Swamp Hedgehog:
        The Great Bald Swamp Hedgehog of Billericay displays, in courtship,
        his single prickle and does impressions of Holiday Inn desk clerks.
        Since this means him standing motionless for enormous periods of
        time he is often eaten in full display by The Great Bald Swamp
        Hedgehog Eater.
                -- Mike Harding, "The Armchair Anarchist's Almanac"
Vanilla, adj.:
        Ordinary flavor, standard.  See FLAVOR.  When used of food,
        very often does not mean that the food is flavored with vanilla
        extract!  For example, "vanilla-flavored won ton soup" (or simply
        "vanilla won ton soup") means ordinary won ton soup, as opposed to hot
        and sour won ton soup.
Worst Month of the Year:
        February.  February has only 28 days in it, which means that if
        you rent an apartment, you are paying for three full days you
        don't get.  Try to avoid Februarys whenever possible.
                -- Steve Rubenstein
        The practice of peppering daily life with obscure
references as a subliminal means of showcasing both one's education
and one's wish to disassociate from the world of mass culture.
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
Occupational Slumming:
        Taking a job well beneath one's skill or education level
as a means of retreat from adult responsibilities and/or avoiding
failure in one's true occupation.
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
After watching my newly-retired dad spend two weeks learning how to make a new
folder, it became obvious that "intuitive" mostly means "what the writer or
speaker of intuitive likes".
(Bruce Ediger,, in comp.os.linux.misc, on X the
intuitiveness of a Mac interface.)
We use Linux for all our mission-critical applications. Having the source code
means that we are not held hostage by anyone's support department.
(Russell Nelson, President of Crynwr Software)
        "I don't know what you mean by 'glory'," Alice said.
        Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously.  "Of course you don't --
till I tell you.  I meant 'there's a nice knock-down argument for you!'"
        "But glory doesn't mean 'a nice knock-down argument'," Alice
        "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful
tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less."
        "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean
so many different things."
        "The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master --
that's all."
                -- Lewis Carrol, "Through the Looking Glass"
Talking much about oneself can also be a means to conceal oneself.
                -- Friedrich Nietzsche
The right half of the brain controls the left half of the body.  This
means that only left handed people are in their right mind.
When all other means of communication fail, try words.
Young men are fitter to invent than to judge; fitter for execution than for
counsel; and fitter for new projects than for settled business.  For the
experience of age, in things that fall within the compass of it, directeth
them; but in new things, abuseth them.  The errors of young men are the ruin
of business; but the errors of aged men amount but to this, that more might
have been done, or sooner.  Young men, in the conduct and management of
actions, embrace more than they can hold; stir more than they can quiet; fly
to the end, without consideration of the means and degrees; pursue some few
principles which they have chanced upon absurdly; care not how they innovate,
which draws unknown inconveniences; and, that which doubleth all errors, will
not acknowledge or retract them; like an unready horse, that will neither stop
nor turn.  Men of age object too much, consult too long, adventure too little,
repent too soon, and seldom drive business home to the full period, but
content themselves with a mediocrity of success.  Certainly, it is good to
compound employments of both ... because the virtues of either age may correct
the defects of both.
                -- Francis Bacon, "Essay on Youth and Age"
A political man can have as his aim the realization of freedom,
but he has no means to realize it other than through violence.
                -- Jean Paul Sartre
All diplomacy is a continuation of war by other means.
                -- Chou En Lai
Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for
the people.
                -- Oscar Wilde
If you wants to get elected president, you'se got to think up some
memoraboble homily so's school kids can be pestered into memorizin'
it, even if they don't know what it means.
                -- Walt Kelly, "The Pogo Party"
        "It's a summons."
        "What's a summons?"
        "It means summon's in trouble."
                -- Rocky and Bullwinkle
Tax reform means "Don't tax you, don't tax me, tax that fellow behind
the tree."
                -- Russell Long
Those who have some means think that the most important thing in the
world is love.  The poor know that it is money.
                -- Gerald Brenan
What's a cult?  It just means not enough people to make a minority.
                -- Robert Altman
When some people decide it's time for everyone to make big changes,
it means that they want you to change first.
You first have to decide whether to use the short or the long form. The
short form is what the Internal Revenue Service calls "simplified", which
means it is designed for people who need the help of a Sears tax-preparation
expert to distinguish between their first and last names.  Here's the
complete text:

"(1) How much did you make?  (AMOUNT)
(2) How much did we here at the government take out?  (AMOUNT)
(3) Hey!  Sounds like we took too much!  So we're going to
     send an official government check for (ONE-FIFTEENTH OF
     THE AMOUNT WE TOOK) directly to the (YOUR LAST NAME)
     household at (YOUR ADDRESS), for you to spend in any way
     you please! Which just goes to show you, (YOUR FIRST
     NAME), that it pays to file the short form!"

The IRS wants you to use this form because it gets to keep most of your
money.  So unless you have pond silt for brains, you want the long form.
                -- Dave Barry, "Sweating Out Taxes"
The first sign of corruption in a society that is still alive is that
the end justifies the means.
                -- Georges Bernanos (1888-1948), French novelist,
                   political writer. "Why Freedom?" The last essays of
                   George Bernanos (1955)
I know what "custody" [of the children] means.  "Get even."  That's all
custody means.  Get even with your old lady.
                -- Lenny Bruce
        "...The name of the song is called 'Haddocks' Eyes'!"
        "Oh, that's the name of the song, is it?" Alice said, trying to
feel interested.
        "No, you don't understand," the Knight said, looking a little
vexed.  "That's what the name is called.  The name really is, 'The Aged
Aged Man.'"
        "Then I ought to have said "That's what the song is called'?"
Alice corrected herself.
        "No, you oughtn't: that's quite another thing!  The song is
called 'Ways and Means':  but that's only what it is called you know!"
        "Well, what is the song then?" said Alice, who was by this
time completely bewildered.
        "I was coming to that," the Knight said.  "The song really is
"A-sitting on a Gate": and the tune's my own invention."
                --Lewis Carroll, "Through the Looking Glass"
Expansion means complexity; and complexity decay.
        ...He who laughs does not believe in what he laughs at, but neither
does he hate it.  Therefore, laughing at evil means not preparing oneself to
combat it, and laughing at good means denying the power through which good is
                -- Umberto Eco, "The Name of the Rose"
If men are not afraid to die,
it is of no avail to threaten them with death.

If men live in constant fear of dying,
And if breaking the law means a man will be killed,
Who will dare to break the law?

There is always an official executioner.
If you try to take his place,
It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood.
If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter,
        you will only hurt your hand.
                -- Tao Te Ching, "Lao Tsu, #74"
Standards are different for all things, so the standard set by man is by
no means the only 'certain' standard.  If you mistake what is relative for
something certain, you have strayed far from the ultimate truth.
                -- Chuang Tzu
There is nothing which cannot be answered by means of my doctrine," said
a monk, coming into a teahouse where Nasrudin sat.
        "And yet just a short time ago, I was challenged by a scholar with
an unanswerable question," said Nasrudin.
        "I could have answered it if I had been there."
        "Very well.  He asked, 'Why are you breaking into my house in
the middle of the night?'"
The word "Windows" is a word out of an old dialect of the Apaches.  It
means: "White man staring through glass-screen onto an hourglass..."
Microsoft DOS/NT (doesn't) provide the means to WIN!

   -- Ewout Stam
We use Linux for all our mission-critical applications.  Having the source code
means that we are not held hostage by anyone's support department.
        -- Russell Nelson, President of Crynwr Software
After watching my newly-retired dad spend two weeks learning how to make a new
folder, it became obvious that "intuitive" mostly means "what the writer or
speaker of intuitive likes".
        -- Bruce Ediger,, on X the intuitiveness of a Mac interface
There was this New Yorker that had a lifelong ambition to be an Texan.
Fortunately, he had an Texan friend and went to him for advice.  "Mike,
you know I've always wanted to be a Texan.  You're a *____real* Texan, what
should I do?"
        "Well," answered Mike, "The first thing you've got to do is look
like a Texan.  That means you have to dress right.  The second thing
you've got to do is speak in a southern drawl."
        "Thanks, Mike, I'll give it a try," replied the New Yorker.
        A few weeks passed and the New Yorker saunters into a store dressed
in a ten-gallon hat, cowboy boots, Levi jeans and a bandanna.  "Hey, there,
pardner, I'd like some beef, not too rare, and some of them fresh biscuits,"
he tells the counterman.
        The guy behind the counter takes a long look at him and then says,
"You must be from New York."
        The New Yorker blushes, and says, "Well, yes, I am.  How did
you know?"
        "Because this is a hardware store."
Q:        How many lawyers does it take to change a light bulb?
A:        Whereas the party of the first part, also known as "Lawyer", and the
party of the second part, also known as "Light Bulb", do hereby and forthwith
agree to a transaction wherein the party of the second part shall be removed
from the current position as a result of failure to perform previously agreed
upon duties, i.e., the lighting, elucidation, and otherwise illumination of
the area ranging from the front (north) door, through the entryway, terminating
at an area just inside the primary living area, demarcated by the beginning of
the carpet, any spillover illumination being at the option of the party of the
second part and not required by the aforementioned agreement between the
        The aforementioned removal transaction shall include, but not be
limited to, the following.  The party of the first part shall, with or without
elevation at his option, by means of a chair, stepstool, ladder or any other
means of elevation, grasp the party of the second part and rotate the party
of the second part in a counter-clockwise direction, this point being tendered
non-negotiable.  Upon reaching a point where the party of the second part
becomes fully detached from the receptacle, the party of the first part shall
have the option of disposing of the party of the second part in a manner
consistent with all relevant and applicable local, state and federal statutes.
Once separation and disposal have been achieved, the party of the first part
shall have the option of beginning installation.  Aforesaid installation shall
occur in a manner consistent with the reverse of the procedures described in
step one of this self-same document, being careful to note that the rotation
should occur in a clockwise direction, this point also being non-negotiable.
The above described steps may be performed, at the option of the party of the
first part, by any or all agents authorized by him, the objective being to
produce the most possible revenue for the Partnership.
Q:        What does friendship among Soviet nationalities mean?
A:        It means that the Armenians take the Russians by the hand; the
        Russians take the Ukrainians by the hand; the Ukranians take
        the Uzbeks by the hand; and they all go and beat up the Jews.
Q:        Why did the lone ranger kill Tonto?
A:        He found out what "kimosabe" really means.
All parts should go together without forcing.  You must remember that the parts
you are reassembling were disassembled by you.  Therefore, if you can't get
them together again, there must be a reason.  By all means, do not use a hammer.
                -- IBM maintenance manual, 1925
And it should be the law: If you use the word `paradigm' without knowing
what the dictionary says it means, you go to jail.  No exceptions.
                -- David Jones
I've finally learned what "upward compatible" means.  It means we get to
keep all our old mistakes.
                -- Dennie van Tassel
Our documentation manager was showing her 2 year old son around the office.
He was introduced to me, at which time he pointed out that we were both
holding bags of popcorn.  We were both holding bottles of juice.  But only
*__he* had a lollipop.
        He asked his mother, "Why doesn't HE have a lollipop?"
        Her reply: "He can have a lollipop any time he wants to.  That's
what it means to be a programmer."
The algorithm for finding the longest path in a graph is NP-complete.
For you systems people, that means it's *real slow*.
                -- Bart Miller
                The Guy on the Right Doesn't Stand a Chance
The guy on the right has the Osborne 1, a fully functional computer system
in a portable package the size of a briefcase.  The guy on the left has an
Uzi submachine gun concealed in his attache case.  Also in the case are four
fully loaded, 32-round clips of 125-grain 9mm ammunition.  The owner of the
Uzi is going to get more tactical firepower delivered -- and delivered on
target -- in less time, and with less effort.  All for $795. It's inevitable.
If you're going up against some guy with an Osborne 1 -- or any personal
computer -- he's the one who's in trouble.  One round from an Uzi can zip
through ten inches of solid pine wood, so you can imagine what it will do
to structural foam acrylic and sheet aluminum.  In fact, detachable magazines
for the Uzi are available in 25-, 32-, and 40-round capacities, so you can
take out an entire office full of Apple II or IBM Personal Computers tied
into Ethernet or other local-area networks.  What about the new 16-bit
computers, like the Lisa and Fortune?  Even with the Winchester backup,
they're no match for the Uzi.  One quick burst and they'll find out what
Unix means.  Make your commanding officer proud.  Get an Uzi -- and come home
a winner in the fight for office automatic weapons.
                -- "InfoWorld", June, 1984
"Virtual" means never knowing where your next byte is coming from.
        "Well," said Programmer, "the customary procedure in such cases is
as follows."
        "What does Crustimoney Proseedcake mean?" said End-user.  "For I am
an End-user of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me."
        "It means the Thing to Do."
        "As long as it means that, I don't mind," said End-user humbly.

        [with apologies to A.A. Milne]
When the Apple IIc was introduced, the informative copy led off with a couple
of asterisked sentences:

        It weighs less than 8 pounds.*
        And costs less than $1,300.**

In tiny type were these "fuller explanations":

      * Don't asterisks make you suspicious as all get out?  Well, all
        this means is that the IIc alone weights 7.5 pounds. The power
        pack, monitor, an extra disk drive, a printer and several bricks
        will make the IIc weigh more. Our lawyers were concerned that you
        might not be able to figure this out for yourself.

     ** The FTC is concerned about price fixing. You can pay more if
        you really want to.  Or less.
                -- Forbes
X windows:
        Something you can be ashamed of.
        30% more entropy than the leading window system.
        The first fully modular software disaster.
        Rome was destroyed in a day.
        Warn your friends about it.
        Climbing to new depths.  Sinking to new heights.
        An accident that couldn't wait to happen.
        Don't wait for the movie.
        Never use it after a big meal.
        Need we say less?
        Plumbing the depths of human incompetence.
        It'll make your day.
        Don't get frustrated without it.
        Power tools for power losers.
        A software disaster of Biblical proportions.
        Never had it.  Never will.
        The software with no visible means of support.
        More than just a generation behind.

Hindenburg.  Titanic.  Edsel.
        X windows.
When man calls an animal "vicious", he usually means that it will attempt
to defend itself when he tries to kill it.
I know you believe you understand what you think this fortune says, but
I'm not sure you realize that what you are reading is not what it means.

If you like the fortune program, why not support it now with your
contribution of a pithy fortunes, clean or obscene?  We cannot continue
without your support.  Less than 14% of all fortune users are contributors.
That means that 86% of you are getting a free ride.  We can't go on like
this much longer.  Federal cutbacks mean less money for fortunes, and unless
user contributions increase to make up the difference, the fortune program
will have to shut down between midnight and 8 a.m.  Don't let this happen.
Mail your fortunes right now to "fortune".  Just type in your favorite pithy
saying.  Do it now before you forget.  Our target is 300 new fortunes by the
end of the week. Don't miss out.  All fortunes will be acknowledged.  If you
contribute 30 fortunes or more, you will receive a free subscription to "The
Fortune Hunter", our monthly program guide.  If you contribute 50 or more,
you will receive a free "Fortune Hunter" coffee mug ....
Fortune's Real-Life Courtroom Quote #25:

Q:  You say you had three men punching at you, kicking you, raping you,
    and you didn't scream?
A:  No ma'am.
Q:  Does that mean you consented?
A:  No, ma'am.  That means I was unconscious.
I remember when legal used to mean lawful, now it means some
kind of loophole.
                -- Leo Kessler
                        Pittsburgh Driver's Test

(7) The car directly in front of you has a flashing right tail light
    but a steady left tail light.  This means

        (a) one of the tail lights is broken; you should blow your horn
            to call the problem to the driver's attention.
        (b) the driver is signaling a right turn.
        (c) the driver is signaling a left turn.
        (d) the driver is from out of town.

The correct answer is (d).  Tail lights are used in some foreign
countries to signal turns.
The default Magic Word, "Abracadabra", actually is a corruption of the
Hebrew phrase "ha-Bracha dab'ra" which means "pronounce the blessing".
No guarantee of accuracy or completeness!
©TU Chemnitz, 2006-2019
Your feedback:
Ad partners

Sprachreise mit Sprachdirekt