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Proverbs, aphorisms, quotations (English) by Linux fortune

After a few boring years, socially meaningful rock 'n' roll died out. It was
replaced by disco, which offers no guidance to any form of life more
advanced than the lichen family.
                -- Dave Barry, "Kids Today: They Don't Know Dum Diddly Do"
Like ya know?  Rock 'N Roll is an esoteric language that unlocks the
creativity chambers in people's brains, and like totally activates their
essential hipness, which of course is like totally necessary for saving
the earth, like because the first thing in saving this world, is getting
rid of stupid and square attitudes and having fun.
                -- Senior Year Quote
        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"
DOS: n., A small annoying boot virus that causes random spontaneous system
     crashes, usually just before saving a massive project.  Easily cured by
     UNIX.  See also MS-DOS, IBM-DOS, DR-DOS.
(from David Vicker's .plan)
    if (argc > 1 && strcmp(argv[1], "-advice") == 0) {
        printf("Don't Panic!\n");
        exit(42);
    }
(Arnold Robbins in the LJ of February '95, describing RCS)
The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n.
                -- John Milton
C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas l'Informatique.
                -- Bosquet [on seeing the IBM 4341]
COMPASS [for the CDC-6000 series] is the sort of assembler one expects from
a corporation whose president codes in octal.
                -- J.N. Gray
During the next two hours, the system will be going up and down several
times, often with lin~po_~{po       ~poz~ppo\~{ o n~po_~{o[po         ~y oodsou>#w4k**n~po_~{ol;lkld;f;g;dd;po\~{o
HOST SYSTEM NOT RESPONDING, PROBABLY DOWN. DO YOU WANT TO WAIT? (Y/N)
If a group of _N persons implements a COBOL compiler, there will be _N-1
passes.  Someone in the group has to be the manager.
                -- T. Cheatham
If I'd known computer science was going to be like this, I'd never have
given up being a rock 'n' roll star.
                -- G. Hirst
>>> Internal error in fortune program:
>>>        fnum=2987  n=45  flag=1  goose_level=-232323
>>> Please write down these values and notify fortune program administrator.
        n = ((n >>  1) & 0x55555555) | ((n <<  1) & 0xaaaaaaaa);
        n = ((n >>  2) & 0x33333333) | ((n <<  2) & 0xcccccccc);
        n = ((n >>  4) & 0x0f0f0f0f) | ((n <<  4) & 0xf0f0f0f0);
        n = ((n >>  8) & 0x00ff00ff) | ((n <<  8) & 0xff00ff00);
        n = ((n >> 16) & 0x0000ffff) | ((n << 16) & 0xffff0000);

                -- C code which reverses the bits in a word.
Welcome to boggle - do you want instructions?

D    G    G    O

O    Y    A    N

A    D    B    T

K    I    S    P
Enter words:
>
You have acquired a scroll entitled 'irk gleknow mizk'(n).--More--

This is an IBM Manual scroll.--More--

You are permanently confused.
                -- Dave Decot
Breakpoint 1, main (argc=1, argv=0xbffffc40) at main.c:29
29   printf ("Welcome to GNU Hell!\n");
                -- "GNU Libtool documentation"
All a man needs out of life is a place to sit 'n' spit in the fire.
You k'n hide de fier, but w'at you gwine do wid de smoke?
                -- Joel Chandler Harris, proverbs of Uncle Remus
Perfection is acheived only on the point of collapse.
- C. N. Parkinson
...the increased productivity fostered by a friendly environment and quality
tools is essential to meet ever increasing demands for software.
-- M. D. McIlroy, E. N. Pinson and B. A. Tague
Behind all the political rhetoric being hurled at us from abroad, we are
bringing home one unassailable fact -- [terrorism is] a crime by any civilized
standard, committed against innocent people, away from the scene of political
conflict, and must be dealt with as a crime. . . .
   [I]n our recognition of the nature of terrorism as a crime lies our best hope
of dealing with it. . . .
   [L]et us use the tools that we have.  Let us invoke the cooperation we have
the right to expect around the world, and with that cooperation let us shrink
the dark and dank areas of sanctuary until these cowardly marauders are held
to answer as criminals in an open and public trial for the crimes they have
committed, and receive the punishment they so richly deserve.
- William H. Webster, Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation, 15 Oct 1985
"Time is money and money can't buy you love and I love your outfit"
- T.H.U.N.D.E.R. #1
"Open Channel D..."
-- Napoleon Solo, The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
                        HOW TO PROVE IT, PART 1

proof by example:
        The author gives only the case n = 2 and suggests that it
        contains most of the ideas of the general proof.

proof by intimidation:
        'Trivial'.

proof by vigorous handwaving:
        Works well in a classroom or seminar setting.
"Let me guess, Ed.  Pentescostal, right?"
-- Starcap'n Ra, ra@asuvax.asu.edu

"Nope.  Charismatic (I think - I've given up on what all those pesky labels
mean)."
-- Ed Carp, erc@unisec.usi.com

"Same difference - all zeal and feel, averaging less than one working brain
cell per congregation. Starcap'n Ra, you pegged him.  Good work!"
-- Kenn Barry, barry@eos.UUCP
   n = ((n >>  1) & 0x55555555) | ((n <<  1) & 0xaaaaaaaa);
   n = ((n >>  2) & 0x33333333) | ((n <<  2) & 0xcccccccc);
   n = ((n >>  4) & 0x0f0f0f0f) | ((n <<  4) & 0xf0f0f0f0);
   n = ((n >>  8) & 0x00ff00ff) | ((n <<  8) & 0xff00ff00);
   n = ((n >> 16) & 0x0000ffff) | ((n << 16) & 0xffff0000);

-- Yet another mystical 'C' gem. This one reverses the bits in a word.
C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas la guerre!
        [It is magnificent, but it is not war]
                -- Pierre Bosquet, witnessing the charge of the Light Brigade
It took a while to surface, but it appears that a long-distance credit card
may have saved a U.S. Army unit from heavy casualties during the Grenada
military rescue/invasion. Major General David Nichols, Air Force ... said
the Army unit was in a house surrounded by Cuban forces.  One soldier found
a telephone and, using his credit card, called Ft. Bragg, N.C., telling Army
officiers there of the perilous situation. The officers in turn called the
Air Force, which sent in gunships to scatter the Cubans and relieve the unit.
                -- Aviation Week and Space Technology
Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants.
                -- General Omar N. Bradley
Absentee, n.:
        A person with an income who has had the forethought to remove
        himself from the sphere of exaction.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
Abstainer, n.:
        A weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a
        pleasure.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
Absurdity, n.:
        A statement or belief manifestly inconsistent with one's own opinion.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
Accident, n.:
        A condition in which presence of mind is good, but absence of
        body is better.
                -- Foolish Dictionary
Accordion, n.:
        A bagpipe with pleats.
Accuracy, n.:
        The vice of being right
Acquaintance, n:
        A person whom we know well enough to borrow from but not well
        enough to lend to.  A degree of friendship called slight when the
        object is poor or obscure, and intimate when he is rich or famous.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
Admiration, n.:
        Our polite recognition of another's resemblance to ourselves.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
Adult, n.:
        One old enough to know better.
Afternoon, n.:
        That part of the day we spend worrying about how we wasted the morning.
Age, n.:
        That period of life in which we compound for the vices that we
        still cherish by reviling those that we no longer have the enterprise
        to commit.
                -- Ambrose Bierce
air, n.:
        A nutritious substance supplied by a bountiful Providence for the
        fattening of the poor.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
algorithm, n.:
        Trendy dance for hip programmers.
alimony, n:
        Having an ex you can bank on.
Alliance, n.:
        In international politics, the union of two thieves who have
        their hands so deeply inserted in each other's pocket that they cannot
        separately plunder a third.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
Ambition, n:
        An overmastering desire to be vilified by enemies while
        living and made ridiculous by friends when dead.
                -- Ambrose Bierce
Antonym, n.:
        The opposite of the word you're trying to think of.
aphorism, n.:
        A concise, clever statement.
afterism, n.:
        A concise, clever statement you don't think of until too late.
                -- James Alexander Thom
Applause, n:
        The echo of a platitude from the mouth of a fool.
                -- Ambrose Bierce
Arbitrary systems, pl.n.:
        Systems about which nothing general can be said, save "nothing
        general can be said."
audophile, n:
        Someone who listens to the equipment instead of the music.
Automobile, n.:
        A four-wheeled vehicle that runs up hills and down pedestrians.
Bagbiter:
        1. n.; Equipment or program that fails, usually intermittently.  2.
adj.: Failing hardware or software.  "This bagbiting system won't let me get
out of spacewar." Usage: verges on obscenity.  Grammatically separable; one
may speak of "biting the bag".  Synonyms: LOSER, LOSING, CRETINOUS,
BLETCHEROUS, BARFUCIOUS, CHOMPER, CHOMPING.
Banectomy, n.:
        The removal of bruises on a banana.
                -- Rich Hall, "Sniglets"
Barometer, n.:
        An ingenious instrument which indicates what kind of weather we
        are having.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
BASIC, n.:
        A programming language.  Related to certain social diseases in
        that those who have it will not admit it in polite company.
Bathquake, n.:
        The violent quake that rattles the entire house when the water
        faucet is turned on to a certain point.
                -- Rich Hall, "Sniglets"
Battle, n.:
        A method of untying with the teeth a political knot that
        will not yield to the tongue.
                -- Ambrose Bierce
Beauty, n.:
        The power by which a woman charms a lover and terrifies a husband.
                -- Ambrose Bierce
Begathon, n.:
        A multi-day event on public television, used to raise money so
        you won't have to watch commercials.
belief, n:
        Something you do not believe.
birth, n:
        The first and direst of all disasters.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
bit, n:
        A unit of measure applied to color.  Twenty-four-bit color
        refers to expensive $3 color as opposed to the cheaper 25
        cent, or two-bit, color that use to be available a few years ago.
Bizoos, n.:
        The millions of tiny individual bumps that make up a basketball.
                -- Rich Hall, "Sniglets"
Bore, n.:
        A guy who wraps up a two-minute idea in a two-hour vocabulary.
                -- Walter Winchell
Bore, n.:
        A person who talks when you wish him to listen.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
boss, n:
        According to the Oxford English Dictionary, in the Middle Ages the
        words "boss" and "botch" were largely synonymous, except that boss,
        in addition to meaning "a supervisor of workers" also meant "an
        ornamental stud."
boy, n:
        A noise with dirt on it.
brain, n:
        The apparatus with which we think that we think.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
Bride, n.:
        A woman with a fine prospect of happiness behind her.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
briefcase, n:
        A trial where the jury gets together and forms a lynching party.
broad-mindedness, n:
        The result of flattening high-mindedness out.
brokee, n:
        Someone who buys stocks on the advice of a broker.
Bubble Memory, n.:
        A derogatory term, usually referring to a person's intelligence.
        See also "vacuum tube".
Bug, n.:
        An aspect of a computer program which exists because the
        programmer was thinking about Jumbo Jacks or stock options when s/he
        wrote the program.

Fortunately, the second-to-last bug has just been fixed.
                -- Ray Simard
bug, n:
        A son of a glitch.
bug, n:
        An elusive creature living in a program that makes it incorrect.
        The activity of "debugging", or removing bugs from a program, ends
        when people get tired of doing it, not when the bugs are removed.
                -- "Datamation", January 15, 1984
Bugs, pl. n.:
        Small living things that small living boys throw on small living girls.
bureaucracy, n:
        A method for transforming energy into solid waste.
Bureaucrat, n.:
        A person who cuts red tape sideways.
                -- J. McCabe
bureaucrat, n:
        A politician who has tenure.
buzzword, n:
        The fly in the ointment of computer literacy.
C, n:
        A programming language that is sort of like Pascal except more like
        assembly except that it isn't very much like either one, or anything
        else.  It is either the best language available to the art today, or
        it isn't.
                -- Ray Simard
Cabbage, n.:
        A familiar kitchen-garden vegetable about as large and wise as
        a man's head.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
Carperpetuation (kar' pur pet u a shun), n.:
        The act, when vacuuming, of running over a string at least a
        dozen times, reaching over and picking it up, examining it, then
        putting it back down to give the vacuum one more chance.
                -- Rich Hall, "Sniglets"
Cat, n.:
        Lapwarmer with built-in buzzer.
cerebral atrophy, n:
        The phenomena which occurs as brain cells become weak and sick, and
impair the brain's performance.  An abundance of these "bad" cells can cause
symptoms related to senility, apathy, depression, and overall poor academic
performance.  A certain small number of brain cells will deteriorate due to
everday activity, but large amounts are weakened by intense mental effort
and the assimilation of difficult concepts.  Many college students become
victims of this dread disorder due to poor habits such as overstudying.

cerebral darwinism, n:
        The theory that the effects of cerebral atrophy can be reversed
through the purging action of heavy alcohol consumption.  Large amounts of
alcohol cause many brain cells to perish due to oxygen deprivation.  Through
the process of natural selection, the weak and sick brain cells will die
first, leaving only the healthy cells.  This wonderful process leaves the
imbiber with a healthier, more vibrant brain, and increases mental capacity.
Thus, the devastating effects of cerebral atrophy are reversed, and academic
performance actually increases beyond previous levels.
character density, n.:
        The number of very weird people in the office.
Charity, n.:
        A thing that begins at home and usually stays there.
checkuary, n:
        The thirteenth month of the year.  Begins New Year's Day and ends
        when a person stops absentmindedly writing the old year on his checks.
Chef, n.:
        Any cook who swears in French.
Chemicals, n.:
        Noxious substances from which modern foods are made.
Cinemuck, n.:
        The combination of popcorn, soda, and melted chocolate which
        covers the floors of movie theaters.
                -- Rich Hall, "Sniglets"
clairvoyant, n.:
        A person, commonly a woman, who has the power of seeing that
        which is invisible to her patron -- namely, that he is a blockhead.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
clone, n:
        1. An exact duplicate, as in "our product is a clone of their
        product."  2. A shoddy, spurious copy, as in "their product
        is a clone of our product."
Collaboration, n.:
        A literary partnership based on the false assumption that the
        other fellow can spell.
Command, n.:
        Statement presented by a human and accepted by a computer in
        such a manner as to make the human feel as if he is in control.
Commitment, n.:
        [The difference between involvement and] Commitment can be
        illustrated by a breakfast of ham and eggs.  The chicken was
        involved, the pig was committed.
Committee, n.:
        A group of men who individually can do nothing but as a group
        decide that nothing can be done.
                -- Fred Allen
Compliment, n.:
        When you say something to another which everyone knows isn't true.
compuberty, n:
        The uncomfortable period of emotional and hormonal changes a
        computer experiences when the operating system is upgraded and
        a sun4 is put online sharing files.
Computer, n.:
        An electronic entity which performs sequences of useful steps in a
        totally understandable, rigorously logical manner.  If you believe
        this, see me about a bridge I have for sale in Manhattan.
Concept, n.:
        Any "idea" for which an outside consultant billed you more than
        $25,000.
Conference, n.:
        A special meeting in which the boss gathers subordinates to hear
        what they have to say, so long as it doesn't conflict with what
        he's already decided to do.
Confidant, confidante, n:
        One entrusted by A with the secrets of B, confided to himself by C.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
Connector Conspiracy, n:
        [probably came into prominence with the appearance of the KL-10,
        none of whose connectors match anything else] The tendency of
        manufacturers (or, by extension, programmers or purveyors of anything)
        to come up with new products which don't fit together with the old
        stuff, thereby making you buy either all new stuff or expensive
        interface devices.
Consultant, n.:
        (1) Someone you pay to take the watch off your wrist and tell
        you what time it is. (2) (For resume use) The working title
        of anyone who doesn't currently hold a job. Motto: Have
        Calculator, Will Travel.
Consultant, n.:
        [From con "to defraud, dupe, swindle," or, possibly, French con
        (vulgar) "a person of little merit" + sult elliptical form of
        "insult."]  A tipster disguised as an oracle, especially one who
        has learned to decamp at high speed in spite of a large briefcase
        and heavy wallet.
Consultant, n.:
        An ordinary man a long way from home.
consultant, n.:
        Someone who knowns 101 ways to make love, but can't get a date.
Consultant, n.:
        Someone who'd rather climb a tree and tell a lie than stand on
        the ground and tell the truth.
Consultation, n.:
        Medical term meaning "to share the wealth."
Conversation, n.:
        A vocal competition in which the one who is catching his breath
        is called the listener.
Copying machine, n.:
        A device that shreds paper, flashes mysteriously coded messages,
        and makes duplicates for everyone in the office who isn't
        interested in reading them.
Coronation, n.:
        The ceremony of investing a sovereign with the outward and visible
        signs of his divine right to be blown skyhigh with a dynamite bomb.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
court, n.:
        A place where they dispense with justice.
                -- Arthur Train
Coward, n.:
        One who in a perilous emergency thinks with his legs.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
Creditor, n.:
        A man who has a better memory than a debtor.
critic, n.:
        A person who boasts himself hard to please because nobody tries
        to please him.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
cursor address, n:
        "Hello, cursor!"
                -- Stan Kelly-Bootle, "The Devil's DP Dictionary"
Cursor, n.:
        One whose program will not run.
                -- Robb Russon
curtation, n.:
        The enforced compression of a string in the fixed-length field
environment.
        The problem of fitting extremely variable-length strings such as names,
addresses, and item descriptions into fixed-length records is no trivial
matter.  Neglect of the subtle art of curtation has probably alienated more
people than any other aspect of data processing.  You order Mozart's "Don
Giovanni" from your record club, and they invoice you $24.95 for MOZ DONG.
The witless mapping of the sublime onto the ridiculous!  Equally puzzling is
the curtation that produces the same eight characters, THE BEST, whether you
order "The Best of Wagner", "The Best of Schubert", or "The Best of the Turds".
Similarly, wine lovers buying from computerized wineries twirl their glasses,
check their delivery notes, and inform their friends, "A rather innocent,
possibly overtruncated CAB SAUV 69 TAL."  The squeezing of fruit into 10
columns has yielded such memorable obscenities as COX OR PIP.  The examples
cited are real, and the curtational methodology which produced them is still
with us.

MOZ DONG n.
        Curtation of Don Giovanni by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Lorenzo da
Ponte, as performed by the computerized billing ensemble of the Internat'l
Preview Society, Great Neck (sic), N.Y.
                -- Stan Kelly-Bootle, "The Devil's DP Dictionary"
Cynic, n.:
        A blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not
        as they ought to be.  Hence the custom among the Scythians of plucking
        out a cynic's eyes to improve his vision.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
Cynic, n.:
        Experienced.
Cynic, n.:
        One who looks through rose-colored glasses with a jaundiced eye.
Data, n.:
        An accrual of straws on the backs of theories.
Data, n.:
        Computerspeak for "information".  Properly pronounced
        the way Bostonians pronounce the word for a female child.
Dawn, n.:
        The time when men of reason go to bed.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
Deadwood, n.:
        Anyone in your company who is more senior than you are.
Death wish, n.:
        The only wish that always comes true, whether or not one wishes it to.
Decision maker, n.:
        The person in your office who was unable to form a task force
        before the music stopped.
default, n.:
        [Possibly from Black English "De fault wid dis system is you,
        mon."] The vain attempt to avoid errors by inactivity.  "Nothing will
        come of nothing: speak again." -- King Lear.
                -- Stan Kelly-Bootle, "The Devil's DP Dictionary"
Default, n.:
        The hardware's, of course.
Deliberation, n.:
        The act of examining one's bread to determine which side it is
        buttered on.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
Dentist, n.:
        A Prestidigitator who, putting metal in one's mouth, pulls
        coins out of one's pockets.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
Denver, n.:
        A smallish city located just below the `O' in Colorado.
diplomacy, n:
        Lying in state.
disbar, n:
        As distinguished from some other bar.
Distress, n.:
        A disease incurred by exposure to the prosperity of a friend.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
divorce, n:
        A change of wife.
double-blind experiment, n:
        An experiment in which the chief researcher believes he is
        fooling both the subject and the lab assistant.  Often accompanied
        by a strong belief in the tooth fairy.
drug, n:
        A substance that, injected into a rat, produces a scientific paper.
Duty, n:
        What one expects from others.
                -- Oscar Wilde
economics, n.:
        Economics is the study of the value and meaning of J.K. Galbraith.
                -- Mike Harding, "The Armchair Anarchist's Almanac"
economist, n:
        Someone who's good with figures, but doesn't have enough
        personality to become an accountant.
Egotism, n:
        Doing the New York Times crossword puzzle with a pen.

Egotist, n:
        A person of low taste, more interested in himself than me.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
Elbonics, n.:
        The actions of two people maneuvering for one armrest in a movie
        theatre.
                -- "Sniglets", Rich Hall & Friends
Electrocution, n.:
        Burning at the stake with all the modern improvements.
Elephant, n.:
        A mouse built to government specifications.
Emacs, n.:
        A slow-moving parody of a text editor.
Endless Loop, n.:
        see Loop, Endless.
Loop, Endless, n.:
        see Endless Loop.
                -- Random Shack Data Processing Dictionary
Engram, n.:
        1. The physical manifestation of human memory -- "the engram."
2. A particular memory in physical form.  [Usage note:  this term is no longer
in common use.  Prior to Wilson and Magruder's historic discovery, the nature
of the engram was a topic of intense speculation among neuroscientists,
psychologists, and even computer scientists.  In 1994 Professors M. R. Wilson
and W. V. Magruder, both of Mount St. Coax University in Palo Alto, proved
conclusively that the mammalian brain is hardwired to interpret a set of
thirty seven genetically transmitted cooperating TECO macros.  Human memory
was shown to reside in 1 million Q-registers as Huffman coded uppercase-only
ASCII strings.  Interest in the engram has declined substantially since that
time.]
                -- New Century Unabridged English Dictionary,
                   3rd edition, 2007 A.D.
Entreprenuer, n.:
        A high-rolling risk taker who would rather
        be a spectacular failure than a dismal success.
Envy, n.:
        Wishing you'd been born with an unfair advantage,
        instead of having to try and acquire one.
Etymology, n.:
        Some early etymological scholars came up with derivations that
        were hard for the public to believe.  The term "etymology" was formed
        from the Latin "etus" ("eaten"), the root "mal" ("bad"), and "logy"
        ("study of").  It meant "the study of things that are hard to swallow."
                -- Mike Kellen
Expense Accounts, n.:
        Corporate food stamps.
Experience, n.:
        Something you don't get until just after you need it.
                -- Olivier
Expert, n.:
        Someone who comes from out of town and shows slides.
Fairy Tale, n.:
        A horror story to prepare children for the newspapers.
Fakir, n:
        A psychologist whose charismatic data have inspired almost
        religious devotion in his followers, even though the sources
        seem to have shinnied up a rope and vanished.
falsie salesman, n:
        Fuller bust man.
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.
fenderberg, n.:
        The large glacial deposits that form on the insides
        of car fenders during snowstorms.
                -- "Sniglets", Rich Hall & Friends
Fidelity, n.:
        A virtue peculiar to those who are about to be betrayed.
filibuster, n.:
        Throwing your wait around.
Fishbowl, n.:
        A glass-enclosed isolation cell where newly promoted managers are
        kept for observation.
flannister, n.:
        The plastic yoke that holds a six-pack of beer together.
                -- "Sniglets", Rich Hall & Friends
flowchart, n. & v.:
        [From flow "to ripple down in rich profusion, as hair" + chart
"a cryptic hidden-treasure map designed to mislead the uninitiated."]
1. n. The solution, if any, to a class of Mascheroni construction
problems in which given algorithms require geometrical representation
using only the 35 basic ideograms of the ANSI template.  2. n. Neronic
doodling while the system burns.  3. n. A low-cost substitute for
wallpaper.  4. n.  The innumerate misleading the illiterate.  "A
thousand pictures is worth ten lines of code." -- The Programmer's
Little Red Vade Mecum, Mao Tse T'umps.  5. v.intrans. To produce
flowcharts with no particular object in mind.  6. v.trans. To obfuscate
(a problem) with esoteric cartoons.
                -- Stan Kelly-Bootle, "The Devil's DP Dictionary"
Fog Lamps, n.:
        Excessively (often obnoxiously) bright lamps mounted on the fronts
        of automobiles; used on dry, clear nights to indicate that the
        driver's brain is in a fog.  See also "Idiot Lights".
Forecast, n.:
        A prediction of the future, based on the past, for
        which the forecaster demands payment in the present.
Forgetfulness, n.:
        A gift of God bestowed upon debtors in compensation for
        their destitution of conscience.
Friends, n.:
        People who borrow your books and set wet glasses on them.

        People who know you well, but like you anyway.
Frobnitz, pl. Frobnitzem (frob'nitsm) n.:
        An unspecified physical object, a widget.  Also refers to electronic
black boxes.  This rare form is usually abbreviated to FROTZ, or more
commonly to FROB.  Also used are FROBNULE, FROBULE, and FROBNODULE.
Starting perhaps in 1979, FROBBOZ (fruh-bahz'), pl. FROBBOTZIM, has also
become very popular, largely due to its exposure via the Adventure spin-off
called Zork (Dungeon).  These can also be applied to non-physical objects,
such as data structures.
Genderplex, n.:
        The predicament of a person in a restaurant who is unable to
        determine his or her designated restroom (e.g., turtles and tortoises).
                -- Rich Hall, "Sniglets"
genealogy, n.:
        An account of one's descent from an ancestor
        who did not particularly care to trace his own.
                -- Ambrose Bierce
Genius, n.:
        A chemist who discovers a laundry additive that rhymes with "bright."
genius, n.:
        Person clever enough to be born in the right place at the right
        time of the right sex and to follow up this advantage by saying
        all the right things to all the right people.
genlock, n.:
        Why he stays in the bottle.
gleemites, n.:
        Petrified deposits of toothpaste found in sinks.
                -- "Sniglets", Rich Hall & Friends
Gnagloot, n.:
        A person who leaves all his ski passes on his jacket just to
        impress people.
                -- Rich Hall, "Sniglets"
Gold, n.:
        A soft malleable metal relatively scarce in distribution.  It
        is mined deep in the earth by poor men who then give it to rich
        men who immediately bury it back in the earth in great prisons,
        although gold hasn't done anything to them.
                -- Mike Harding, "The Armchair Anarchist's Almanac"
gossip, n.:
        Hearing something you like about someone you don't.
                -- Earl Wilson
Goto, n.:
        A programming tool that exists to allow structured programmers
        to complain about unstructured programmers.
                -- Ray Simard
Gray's Law of Programming:
        `_n+1' trivial tasks are expected to be accomplished in the same
        time as `_n' tasks.

Logg's Rebuttal to Gray's Law:
        `_n+1' trivial tasks take twice as long as `_n' trivial tasks.
Guillotine, n.:
        A French chopping center.
gurmlish, n.:
        The red warning flag at the top of a club sandwich which
        prevents the person from biting into it and puncturing the roof
        of his mouth.
                -- Rich Hall, "Sniglets"
guru, n.:
        A person in T-shirt and sandals who took an elevator ride with
        a senior vice-president and is ultimately responsible for the
        phone call you are about to receive from your boss.
guru, n:
        A computer owner who can read the manual.
gyroscope, n.:
        A wheel or disk mounted to spin rapidly about an axis and also
        free to rotate about one or both of two axes perpindicular to
        each other and the axis of spin so that a rotation of one of the
        two mutually perpendicular axes results from application of
        torque to the other when the wheel is spinning and so that the
        entire apparatus offers considerable opposition depending on
        the angular momentum to any torque that would change the direction
        of the axis of spin.
                -- Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary
Hacker's Quicky #313:
        Sour Cream -n- Onion Potato Chips
        Microwave Egg Roll
        Chocolate Milk
hacker, n.:
        A master byter.
hacker, n.:
        Originally, any person with a knack for coercing stubborn inanimate
        things; hence, a person with a happy knack, later contracted by the
        mythical philosopher Frisbee Frobenius to the common usage, 'hack'.
        In olden times, upon completion of some particularly atrocious body
        of coding that happened to work well, culpable programmers would gather
        in a small circle around a first edition of Knuth's Best Volume I by
        candlelight, and proceed to get very drunk while sporadically rending
        the following ditty:

                Hacker's Fight Song

                He's a Hack!  He's a Hack!
                He's a guy with the happy knack!
                Never bungles, never shirks,
                Always gets his stuff to work!

All take a drink (important!)
half-done, n.:
        This is the best way to eat a kosher dill -- when it's still crunchy,
        light green, yet full of garlic flavor.  The difference between this
        and the typical soggy dark green cucumber corpse is like the
        difference between life and death.

        You may find it difficult to find a good half-done kosher dill there
        in Seattle, so what you should do is take a cab out to the airport,
        fly to New York, take the JFK Express to Jay Street-Borough Hall,
        transfer to an uptown F, get off at East Broadway, walk north on
        Essex (along the park), make your first left onto Hester Street, walk
        about fifteen steps, turn ninety degrees left, and stop.  Say to the
        man, "Let me have a nice half-done."  Worth the trouble, wasn't it?
                -- Arthur Naiman, "Every Goy's Guide to Yiddish"
Hand, n.:
        A singular instrument worn at the end of a human arm and
        commonly thrust into somebody's pocket.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
handshaking protocol, n:
        A process employed by hostile hardware devices to initate a
        terse but civil dialogue, which, in turn, is characterized by
        occasional misunderstanding, sulking, and name-calling.
Hangover, n.:
        The burden of proof.
hangover, n.:
        The wrath of grapes.
Happiness, n.:
        An agreeable sensation arising from contemplating the misery of another.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
Hardware, n.:
        The parts of a computer system that can be kicked.
Hatred, n.:
        A sentiment appropriate to the occasion of another's superiority.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
Heaven, n.:
        A place where the wicked cease from troubling you with talk of
        their personal affairs, and the good listen with attention while you
        expound your own.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
Hippogriff, n.:
        An animal (now extinct) which was half horse and half griffin.
        The griffin was itself a compound creature, half lion and half eagle.
        The hippogriff was actually, therefore, only one quarter eagle, which
        is two dollars and fifty cents in gold.  The study of zoology is full
        of surprises.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
History, n.:
        Papa Hegel he say that all we learn from history is that we
        learn nothing from history.  I know people who can't even learn from
        what happened this morning.  Hegel must have been taking the long view.
                -- Chad C. Mulligan, "The Hipcrime Vocab"
honeymoon, n.:
        A short period of doting between dating and debting.
                -- Ray C. Bandy
idiot box, n.:
        The part of the envelope that tells a person where to place the
        stamp when they can't quite figure it out for themselves.
                -- Rich Hall, "Sniglets"
Idiot, n.:
        A member of a large and powerful tribe whose influence in human
        affairs has always been dominant and controlling.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
idleness, n.:
        Leisure gone to seed.
ignisecond, n:
        The overlapping moment of time when the hand is locking the car
        door even as the brain is saying, "my keys are in there!"
                -- Rich Hall, "Sniglets"
ignorance, n.:
        When you don't know anything, and someone else finds out.
inbox, n.:
        A catch basin for everything you don't want to deal with, but
        are afraid to throw away.
incentive program, n.:
        The system of long and short-term rewards that a corporation uses
        to motivate its people.  Still, despite all the experimentation with
        profit sharing, stock options, and the like, the most effective
        incentive program to date seems to be "Do a good job and you get to
        keep it."
Incumbent, n.:
        Person of liveliest interest to the outcumbents.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
index, n.:
        Alphabetical list of words of no possible interest where an
        alphabetical list of subjects with references ought to be.
Infancy, n.:
        The period of our lives when, according to Wordsworth, "Heaven lies
        about us."  The world begins lying about us pretty soon afterward.
                -- Ambrose Bierce
Information Center, n.:
        A room staffed by professional computer people whose job it is to
        tell you why you cannot have the information you require.
Ingrate, n.:
        A man who bites the hand that feeds him, and then complains of
        indigestion.
ink, n.:
        A villainous compound of tannogallate of iron, gum-arabic,
        and water, chiefly used to facilitate the infection of
        idiocy and promote intellectual crime.
                -- H.L. Mencken
insecurity, n.:
        Finding out that you've mispronounced for years one of your
        favorite words.

        Realizing halfway through a joke that you're telling it to
        the person who told it to you.
interest, n.:
        What borrowers pay, lenders receive, stockholders own, and
        burned out employees must feign.
Interpreter, n.:
        One who enables two persons of different languages to
        understand each other by repeating to each what it would have been to
        the interpreter's advantage for the other to have said.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
job interview, n.:
        The excruciating process during which personnel officers
        separate the wheat from the chaff -- then hire the chaff.
job Placement, n.:
        Telling your boss what he can do with your job.
jogger, n.:
        An odd sort of person with a thing for pain.
Justice, n.:
        A decision in your favor.
kern, v.:
        1. To pack type together as tightly as the kernels on an ear
        of corn.  2. In parts of Brooklyn and Queens, N.Y., a small,
        metal object used as part of the monetary system.
kernel, n.:
        A part of an operating system that preserves the medieval
        traditions of sorcery and black art.
Kin, n.:
        An affliction of the blood.
Kludge, n.:
        An ill-assorted collection of poorly-matching parts, forming a
        distressing whole.
                -- Jackson Granholm, "Datamation"
knowledge, n.:
        Things you believe.
Krogt, n. (chemical symbol: Kr):
        The metallic silver coating found on fast-food game cards.
                -- Rich Hall, "Sniglets"
Labor, n.:
        One of the processes by which A acquires property for B.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
Lactomangulation, n.:
        Manhandling the "open here" spout on a milk carton so badly
        that one has to resort to using the "illegal" side.
                -- Rich Hall, "Sniglets"
laser, n.:
        Failed death ray.
lawsuit, n.:
        A machine which you go into as a pig and come out as a sausage.
                -- Ambrose Bierce
learning curve, n.:
        An astonishing new theory, discovered by management consultants
        in the 1970's, asserting that the more you do something the
        quicker you can do it.
Lemma:  All horses are the same color.
Proof (by induction):
        Case n = 1: In a set with only one horse, it is obvious that all
        horses in that set are the same color.
        Case n = k: Suppose you have a set of k+1 horses.  Pull one of these
        horses out of the set, so that you have k horses.  Suppose that all
        of these horses are the same color.  Now put back the horse that you
        took out, and pull out a different one.  Suppose that all of the k
        horses now in the set are the same color.  Then the set of k+1 horses
        are all the same color.  We have k true => k+1 true; therefore all
        horses are the same color.
Theorem: All horses have an infinite number of legs.
Proof (by intimidation):
        Everyone would agree that all horses have an even number of legs.  It
        is also well-known that horses have forelegs in front and two legs in
        back.  4 + 2 = 6 legs, which is certainly an odd number of legs for a
        horse to have!  Now the only number that is both even and odd is
        infinity; therefore all horses have an infinite number of legs.
        However, suppose that there is a horse somewhere that does not have an
        infinite number of legs.  Well, that would be a horse of a different
        color; and by the Lemma, it doesn't exist.
leverage, n.:
        Even if someone doesn't care what the world thinks
        about them, they always hope their mother doesn't find out.
Liar, n.:
        A lawyer with a roving commission.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
Lie, n.:
        A very poor substitute for the truth, but the only one
        discovered to date.
life, n.:
        A whim of several billion cells to be you for a while.
life, n.:
        Learning about people the hard way -- by being one.
life, n.:
        That brief interlude between nothingness and eternity.
lighthouse, n.:
        A tall building on the seashore in which the government
        maintains a lamp and the friend of a politician.
love,  n.:
        Love ties in a knot in the end of the rope.
love, n.:
        When it's growing, you don't mind watering it with a few tears.
love, n.:
        When you don't want someone too close--because you're very sensitive
        to pleasure.
love, n.:
        When you like to think of someone on days that begin with a morning.
love, n.:
        When, if asked to choose between your lover
        and happiness, you'd skip happiness in a heartbeat.
Lunatic Asylum, n.:
        The place where optimism most flourishes.
MAFIA, n:
        [Acronym for Mechanized Applications in Forced Insurance
Accounting.] An extensive network with many on-line and offshore
subsystems running under OS, DOS, and IOS.  MAFIA documentation is
rather scanty, and the MAFIA sales office exhibits that testy
reluctance to bona fide inquiries which is the hallmark of so many DP
operations.  From the little that has seeped out, it would appear that
MAFIA operates under a non-standard protocol, OMERTA, a tight-lipped
variant of SNA, in which extended handshakes also perform complex
security functions.  The known timesharing aspects of MAFIA point to a
more than usually autocratic operating system.  Screen prompts carry an
imperative, nonrefusable weighting (most menus offer simple YES/YES
options, defaulting to YES) that precludes indifference or delay.
Uniquely, all editing under MAFIA is performed centrally, using a
powerful rubout feature capable of erasing files, filors, filees, and
entire nodal aggravations.
                -- Stan Kelly-Bootle, "The Devil's DP Dictionary"
Magnet, n.:
        Something acted upon by magnetism.

Magnetism, n.:
        Something acting upon a magnet.

The two definition immediately foregoing are condensed from the works of
one thousand eminent scientists, who have illuminated the subject with
a great white light, to the inexpressible advancement of human knowledge.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
Magpie, n.:
        A bird whose theivish disposition suggested to someone that it
        might be taught to talk.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
Maier's Law:
        If the facts do not conform to the theory, they must be disposed of.
                -- N.R. Maier, "American Psychologist", March 1960

Corollaries:
        (1) The bigger the theory, the better.
        (2) The experiment may be considered a success if no more than
            50% of the observed measurements must be discarded to
            obtain a correspondence with the theory.
Majority, n.:
        That quality that distinguishes a crime from a law.
Male, n.:
        A member of the unconsidered, or negligible sex.  The male of the
        human race is commonly known to the female as Mere Man.  The genus
        has two varieties:  good providers and bad providers.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
malpractice, n.:
        The reason surgeons wear masks.
management, n.:
        The art of getting other people to do all the work.
manual, n.:
        A unit of documentation.  There are always three or more on a given
        item.  One is on the shelf; someone has the others.  The information
        you need is in the others.
                -- Ray Simard
marriage, n.:
        An old, established institution, entered into by two people deeply
        in love and desiring to make a committment to each other expressing
        that love.  In short, committment to an institution.
marriage, n.:
        Convertible bonds.
Marriage, n.:
        The evil aye.
mathematician, n.:
        Some one who believes imaginary things appear right before your _i's.
meeting, n.:
        An assembly of people coming together to decide what person or
        department not represented in the room must solve a problem.
meetings, n.:
        A place where minutes are kept and hours are lost.
memo, n.:
        An interoffice communication too often written more for the benefit
        of the person who sends it than the person who receives it.
Menu, n.:
        A list of dishes which the restaurant has just run out of.
meterologist, n.:
        One who doubts the established fact that it is
        bound to rain if you forget your umbrella.
methionylglutaminylarginyltyrosylglutamylserylleucylphenylalanylalanylglutamin-
ylleucyllysylglutamylarginyllysylglutamylglycylalanylphenylalanylvalylprolyl-
phenylalanylvalylthreonylleucylglycylaspartylprolylglycylisoleucylglutamylglu-
taminylserylleucyllysylisoleucylaspartylthreonylleucylisoleucylglutamylalanyl-
glycylalanylaspartylalanylleucylglutamylleucylglycylisoleucylprolylphenylala-
nylserylaspartylprolylleucylalanylaspartylglycylprolylthreonylisoleucylgluta-
minylasparaginylalanylthreonylleucylarginylalanylphenylalanylalanylalanylgly-
cylvalylthreonylprolylalanylglutaminylcysteinylphenylalanylglutamylmethionyl-
leucylalanylleucylisoleucylarginylglutaminyllysylhistidylprolylthreonylisoleu-
cylprolylisoleucylglycylleucylleucylmethionyltyrosylalanylasparaginylleucylva-
lylphenylalanylasparaginyllysylglycylisoleucylaspartylglutamylphenylalanyltyro-
sylalanylglutaminylcysteinylglutamyllysylvalylglycylvalylaspartylserylvalylleu-
cylvalylalanylaspartylvalylprolylvalylglutaminylglutamylserylalanylprolylphe-
nylalanylarginylglutaminylalanylalanylleucylarginylhistidylasparaginylvalylala-
nylprolylisoleucylphenylalanylisoleucylcysteinylprolylprolylaspartylalanylas-
partylaspartylaspartylleucylleucylarginylglutaminylisoleucylalanylseryltyrosyl-
glycylarginylglycyltyrosylthreonyltyrosylleucylleucylserylarginylalanylglycyl-
valylthreonylglycylalanylglutamylasparaginylarginylalanylalanylleucylprolylleu-
cylasparaginylhistidylleucylvalylalanyllysylleucyllysylglutamyltyrosylasparagi-
nylalanylalanylprolylprolylleucylglutaminylglycylphenylalanylglycylisoleucylse-
rylalanylprolylaspartylglutaminylvalyllysylalanylalanylisoleucylaspartylalanyl-
glycylalanylalanylglycylalanylisoleucylserylglycylserylalanylisoleucylvalylly-
sylisoleucylisoleucylglutamylglutaminylhistidylasparaginylisoleucylglutamylpro-
lylglutamyllysylmethionylleucylalanylalanylleucyllysylvalylphenylalanylvalyl-
glutaminylprolylmethionyllysylalanylalanylthreonylarginylserine, n.:
        The chemical name for tryptophan synthetase A protein, a
        1,913-letter enzyme with 267 amino acids.
                -- Mrs. Byrne's Dictionary of Unusual, Obscure, and
                   Preposterous Words
millihelen, n.:
        The amount of beauty required to launch one ship.
Misfortune, n.:
        The kind of fortune that never misses.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
modesty, n.:
        Being comfortable that others will discover your greatness.
Molecule, n.:
        The ultimate, indivisible unit of matter.  It is distinguished
        from the corpuscle, also the ultimate, indivisible unit of matter, by a
        closer resemblance to the atom, also the ultimate, indivisible unit of
        matter ... The ion differs from the molecule, the corpuscle and the
        atom in that it is an ion ...
        -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
momentum, n.:
        What you give a person when they are going away.
Moon, n.:
        1. A celestial object whose phase is very important to hackers.  See
        PHASE OF THE MOON.  2. Dave Moon (MOON@MC).
mophobia, n.:
        Fear of being verbally abused by a Mississippian.
mummy, n.:
        An Egyptian who was pressed for time.
Mustgo, n.:
        Any item of food that has been sitting in the refrigerator so
        long it has become a science project.
                -- Sniglets, "Rich Hall & Friends"
narcolepulacyi, n.:
        The contagious action of yawning, causing everyone in sight
        to also yawn.
                -- "Sniglets", Rich Hall & Friends
nerd pack, n.:
        Plastic pouch worn in breast pocket to keep pens from soiling
        clothes.  Nerd's position in engineering hierarchy can be measured
        by number of pens, grease pencils, and rulers bristling        in his pack.
neutron bomb, n.:
        An explosive device of limited military value because, as
        it only destroys people without destroying property, it
        must be used in conjunction with bombs that destroy property.
Nouvelle cuisine, n.:
        French for "not enough food".

Continental breakfast, n.:
        English for "not enough food".

Tapas, n.:
        Spanish for "not enough food".

Dim Sum, n.:
        Chinese for more food than you've ever seen in your entire life.
November, n.:
        The eleventh twelfth of a weariness.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
Old timer, n.:
        One who remembers when charity was a virtue and not an organization.
One-Shot Case Study, n.:
        The scientific equivalent of the four-leaf clover, from which it is
        concluded all clovers possess four leaves and are sometimes green.
Optimism, n.:
        The belief that everything is beautiful, including what is ugly, good,
        bad, and everything right that is wrong.  It is held with greatest
        tenacity by those accustomed to falling into adversity, and most
        acceptably expounded with the grin that apes a smile.  Being a blind
        faith, it is inaccessible to the light of disproof -- an intellectual
        disorder, yielding to no treatment but death.  It is hereditary, but
        not contagious.
optimist, n.:
        A proponent of the belief that black is white.

        A pessimist asked God for relief.
        "Ah, you wish me to restore your hope and cheerfulness," said God.
        "No," replied the petitioner, "I wish you to create something that
would justify them."
        "The world is all created," said God, "but you have overlooked
something -- the mortality of the optimist."
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
optimist, n:
        A bagpiper with a beeper.
Oregano, n.:
        The ancient Italian art of pizza folding.
pain, n.:
        One thing, at least it proves that you're alive!
Painting, n.:
        The art of protecting flat surfaces from the weather, and
        exposing them to the critic.
                -- Ambrose Bierce
paranoia, n.:
        A healthy understanding of the way the universe works.
party, n.:
        A gathering where you meet people who drink
        so much you can't even remember their names.
Patageometry, n.:
        The study of those mathematical properties that are invariant
        under brain transplants.
Peace, n.:
        In international affairs, a period of cheating between two
        periods of fighting.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
Pedaeration, n.:
        The perfect body heat achieved by having one leg under the
        sheet and one hanging off the edge of the bed.
                -- Rich Hall, "Sniglets"
pixel, n.:
        A mischievous, magical spirit associated with screen displays.
        The computer industry has frequently borrowed from mythology:
        Witness the sprites in computer graphics, the demons in artificial
        intelligence, and the trolls in the marketing department.
poisoned coffee, n.:
        Grounds for divorce.
politics, n.:
        A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles.
        The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.
                -- Ambrose Bierce
poverty, n.:
        An unfortunate state that persists as long
        as anyone lacks anything he would like to have.
Power, n.:
        The only narcotic regulated by the SEC instead of the FDA.
prairies, n.:
        Vast plains covered by treeless forests.
problem drinker, n.:
        A man who never buys.
program, n.:
        A magic spell cast over a computer allowing it to turn one's input
        into error messages.  tr.v. To engage in a pastime similar to banging
        one's head against a wall, but with fewer opportunities for reward.
program, n.:
        Any task that can't be completed in one telephone call or one
        day.  Once a task is defined as a program ("training program,"
        "sales program," or "marketing program"), its implementation
        always justifies hiring at least three more people.
progress, n.:
        Medieval man thought disease was caused by invisible demons
        invading the body and taking possession of it.

        Modern man knows disease is caused by microscopic bacteria
        and viruses invading the body and causing it to malfunction.
Proof techniques #2: Proof by Oddity.
        SAMPLE: To prove that horses have an infinite number of legs.
(1) Horses have an even number of legs.
(2) They have two legs in back and fore legs in front.
(3) This makes a total of six legs, which certainly is an odd number of
    legs for a horse.
(4) But the only number that is both odd and even is infinity.
(5) Therefore, horses must have an infinite number of legs.

Topics is be covered in future issues include proof by:
        Intimidation
        Gesticulation (handwaving)
        "Try it; it works"
        Constipation (I was just sitting there and ...)
        Blatant assertion
        Changing all the 2's to _n's
        Mutual consent
        Lack of a counterexample, and
        "It stands to reason"
prototype, n.:
        First stage in the life cycle of a computer product, followed by
        pre-alpha, alpha, beta, release version, corrected release version,
        upgrade, corrected upgrade, etc.  Unlike its successors, the
        prototype is not expected to work.
purpitation, n.:
        To take something off the grocery shelf, decide you
        don't want it, and then put it in another section.
                -- "Sniglets", Rich Hall & Friends
QOTD:
        Y'know how s'm people treat th'r body like a TEMPLE?
        Well, I treat mine like 'n AMUSEMENT PARK...  S'great...
Quality control, n.:
        Assuring that the quality of a product does not get out of hand
        and add to the cost of its manufacture or design.
Quality Control, n.:
        The process of testing one out of every 1,000 units coming off
        a production line to make sure that at least one out of 100 works.
QWERT (kwirt) n. [MW < OW qwertyuiop, a thirteenth]   1. a unit of weight
equal to 13 poiuyt  avoirdupois  (or 1.69 kiloliks), commonly used in
structural engineering  2. [Colloq.] one thirteenth the load that a fully
grown sligo can carry.  3. [Anat.] a painful  irritation  of  the dermis
in the region of the anus  4. [Slang] person who excites in others the
symptoms of a qwert.
                -- Webster's Middle World Dictionary, 4th ed.
Random, n.:
        As in number, predictable.  As in memory access, unpredictable.
Real World, The, n.:
        1. In programming, those institutions at which programming may
be used in the same sentence as FORTRAN, COBOL, RPG, IBM, etc.  2. To
programmers, the location of non-programmers and activities not related
to programming.  3. A universe in which the standard dress is shirt and
tie and in which a person's working hours are defined as 9 to 5.  4.
The location of the status quo.  5. Anywhere outside a university.
"Poor fellow, he's left MIT and gone into the real world."  Used
pejoratively by those not in residence there.  In conversation, talking
of someone who has entered the real world is not unlike talking about a
deceased person.
Reappraisal, n.:
        An abrupt change of mind after being found out.
Reception area, n.:
        The purgatory where office visitors are condemned to spend
        innumerable hours reading dog-eared back issues of trade
        magazines like Modern Plastics, Chain Saw Age, and Chicken World,
        while the receptionist blithely reads her own trade magazine --
        Cosmopolitan.
Recursion n.:
        See Recursion.
                -- Random Shack Data Processing Dictionary
Reformed, n.:
        A synagogue that closes for the Jewish holidays.
Reliable source, n.:
        The guy you just met.
Reporter, n.:
        A writer who guesses his way to the truth and dispels it with a
        tempest of words.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
Research, n.:
        Consider Columbus:
        He didn't know where he was going.
        When he got there he didn't know where he was.
        When he got back he didn't know where he had been.
        And he did it all on someone else's money.
Revolution, n.:
        A form of government abroad.
Revolution, n.:
        In politics, an abrupt change in the form of misgovernment.
                -- Ambrose Bierce
Robot, n.:
        University administrator.
scenario, n.:
        An imagined sequence of events that provides the context in
        which a business decision is made.  Scenarios always come in
        sets of three: best case, worst case, and just in case.
Schlattwhapper, n.:
        The window shade that allows itself to be pulled down,
        hesitates for a second, then snaps up in your face.
                -- Rich Hall, "Sniglets"
scribline, n.:
        The blank area on the back of credit cards where one's signature goes.
                -- "Sniglets", Rich Hall & Friends
Senate, n.:
        A body of elderly gentlemen charged with high duties and misdemeanors.
                -- Ambrose Bierce
senility, n.:
        The state of mind of elderly persons with whom one happens to disagree.
serendipity, n.:
        The process by which human knowledge is advanced.
share, n.:
        To give in, endure humiliation.
Slurm, n.:
        The slime that accumulates on the underside of a soap bar when
        it sits in the dish too long.
                -- Rich Hall, "Sniglets"
Snacktrek, n.:
        The peculiar habit, when searching for a snack, of constantly
        returning to the refrigerator in hopes that something new will have
        materialized.
                -- Rich Hall, "Sniglets"
Software, n.:
        Formal evening attire for female computer analysts.
spagmumps, n.:
        Any of the millions of Styrofoam wads that accompany mail-order items.
                -- "Sniglets", Rich Hall & Friends
Spirtle, n.:
        The fine stream from a grapefruit that always lands right in your eye.
                -- Sniglets, "Rich Hall & Friends"
Spouse, n.:
        Someone who'll stand by you through all the trouble you
        wouldn't have had if you'd stayed single.
squatcho, n.:
        The button at the top of a baseball cap.
                -- "Sniglets", Rich Hall & Friends
standards, n.:
        The principles we use to reject other people's code.
statistics, n.:
        A system for expressing your political prejudices in convincing
        scientific guise.
strategy, n.:
        A comprehensive plan of inaction.
Stupid, n.:
        Losing $25 on the game and $25 on the instant replay.
sugar daddy, n.:
        A man who can afford to raise cain.
sunset, n.:
        Pronounced atmospheric scattering of shorter wavelengths,
        resulting in selective transmission below 650 nanometers with
        progressively reducing solar elevation.
sushi, n.:
        When that-which-may-still-be-alive is put on top of rice and
        strapped on with electrical tape.
Sushido, n.:
        The way of the tuna.
Swahili, n.:
        The language used by the National Enquirer to print their retractions.
                -- Johnny Hart
Sweater, n.:
        A garment worn by a child when its mother feels chilly.
Tact, n.:
        The unsaid part of what you're thinking.
tax office, n.:
        Den of inequity.
Taxes, n.:
        Of life's two certainties, the only one for which you can get
        an extension.
taxidermist, n.:
        A man who mounts animals.
TCP/IP Slang Glossary, #1:

Gong, n: Medieval term for privy, or what pased for them in that era.
Today used whimsically to describe the aftermath of a bogon attack. Think
of our community as the Galapagos of the English language.

"Vogons may read you bad poetry, but bogons make you study obsolete RFCs."
                -- Dave Mills
teamwork, n.:
        Having someone to blame.
Technicality, n.:
        In an English court a man named Home was tried for slander in having
        accused a neighbor of murder.  His exact words were: "Sir Thomas Holt
        hath taken a cleaver and stricken his cook upon the head, so that one
        side of his head fell on one shoulder and the other side upon the
        other shoulder."  The defendant was acquitted by instruction of the
        court, the learned judges holding that the words did not charge murder,
        for they did not affirm the death of the cook, that being only an
        inference.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
Telephone, n.:
        An invention of the devil which abrogates some of the advantages
        of making a disagreeable person keep his distance.
                -- Ambrose Bierce
telepression, n.:
        The deep-seated guilt which stems from knowing that you did not try
        hard enough to look up the number on your own and instead put the
        burden on the directory assistant.
                -- "Sniglets", Rich Hall & Friends
Theorem: All positive integers are equal.
Proof: Sufficient to show that for any two positive integers, A and B, A = B.
        Further, it is sufficient to show that for all N > 0, if A and B
        (positive integers) satisfy (MAX(A, B) = N) then A = B.

Proceed by induction:
        If N = 1, then A and B, being positive integers, must both be 1.
        So A = B.

Assume that the theorem is true for some value k.  Take A and B with
        MAX(A, B) = k+1.  Then  MAX((A-1), (B-1)) = k.  And hence
        (A-1) = (B-1).  Consequently, A = B.
theory, n.:
        System of ideas meant to explain something, chosen with a view to
        originality, controversialism, incomprehensibility, and how good
        it will look in print.
timesharing, n:
        An access method whereby one computer abuses many people.
today, n.:
        A nice place to visit, but you can't stay here for long.
toilet toup'ee, n.:
        Any shag carpet that causes the lid to become top-heavy, thus
        creating endless annoyance to male users.
                -- Rich Hall, "Sniglets"
transfer, n.:
        A promotion you receive on the condition that you leave town.
travel, n.:
        Something that makes you feel like you're getting somewhere.
unfair competition, n.:
        Selling cheaper than we do.
union, n.:
        A dues-paying club workers wield to strike management.
Universe, n.:
        The problem.
University, n.:
        Like a software house, except the software's free, and it's usable,
        and it works, and if it breaks they'll quickly tell you how to fix
        it, and ...

        [Okay, okay, I'll leave it in, but I think you're destroying
         the credibility of the entire fortune program.  Ed.]
untold wealth, n.:
        What you left out on April 15th.
User n.:
        A programmer who will believe anything you tell him.
user, n.:
        The word computer professionals use when they mean "idiot."
                -- Dave Barry, "Claw Your Way to the Top"

[I always thought "computer professional" was the phrase hackers used
when they meant "idiot."  Ed.]
vacation, n.:
        A two-week binge of rest and relaxation so intense that
        it takes another 50 weeks of your restrained workaday
        life-style to recuperate.
Viking, n.:
        1. Daring Scandinavian seafarers, explorers, adventurers,
        entrepreneurs world-famous for their aggressive, nautical import
        business, highly leveraged takeovers and blue eyes.
        2. Bloodthirsty sea pirates who ravaged northern Europe beginning
        in the 9th century.

Hagar's note: The first definition is much preferred; the second is used
only by malcontents, the envious, and disgruntled owners of waterfront
property.
VMS, n.:
        The world's foremost multi-user adventure game.
volcano, n.:
        A mountain with hiccups.
weapon, n.:
        An index of the lack of development of a culture.
Wedding, n:
        A ceremony at which two persons undertake to become one, one undertakes
        to become nothing and nothing undertakes to become supportable.
                -- Ambrose Bierce
Wit, n.:
        The salt with which the American Humorist spoils his cookery
        ... by leaving it out.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
wok, n.:
        Something to thwow at a wabbit.
wolf, n.:
        A man who knows all the ankles.
work, n.:
        The blessed respite from screaming kids and
        soap operas for which you actually get paid.
write-protect tab, n.:
        A small sticker created to cover the unsightly notch carelessly left
        by disk manufacturers.  The use of the tab creates an error message
        once in a while, but its aesthetic value far outweighs the momentary
        inconvenience.
                -- Robb Russon
XIIdigitation, n.:
        The practice of trying to determine the year a movie was made
        by deciphering the Roman numerals at the end of the credits.
                -- Rich Hall, "Sniglets"
Year, n.:
        A period of three hundred and sixty-five disappointments.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
Yinkel, n.:
        A person who combs his hair over his bald spot, hoping no one
        will notice.
                -- Rich Hall, "Sniglets"
yo-yo, n.:
        Something that is occasionally up but normally down.
        (see also Computer).
zeal, n.:
        Quality seen in new graduates -- if you're quick.
Zero Defects, n.:
        The result of shutting down a production line.
Ever wonder why fire engines are red?

Because newspapers are read too.
Two and Two is four.
Four and four is eight.
Eight and four is twelve.
There are twelve inches in a ruler.
Queen Mary was a ruler.
Queen Mary was a ship.
Ships sail the sea.
There are fishes in the sea.
Fishes have fins.
The Finns fought the Russians.
Russians are red.
Fire engines are always rush'n.
Therefore fire engines are red.
Know what I hate most?  Rhetorical questions.
                -- Henry N. Camp
Glogg (a traditional Scandinavian holiday drink):
        fifth of dry red wine
        fifth of Aquavit
        1 and 1/2 inch piece of cinnamon
        10 cardamom seeds
        1 cup raisins
        4 dried figs
        1 cup blanched or flaked almonds
        a few pieces of dried orange peel
        5 cloves
        1/2 lb. sugar cubes
        Heat up the wine and hard stuff (which may be substituted with wine
for the faint of heart) in a big pot after adding all the other stuff EXCEPT
the sugar cubes.  Just when it reaches boiling, put the sugar in a wire
strainer, moisten it in the hot brew, lift it out and ignite it with a match.
Dip the sugar several times in the liquid until it is all dissolved.  Serve
hot in cups with a few raisins and almonds in each cup.
        N.B. Aquavit may be hard to find and expensive to boot.  Use it only
if you really have a deep-seated desire to be fussy, or if you are of Swedish
extraction.
Norm:  Hey, everybody.
All:   [silence; everybody is mad at Norm for being rich.]
Norm:  [Carries on both sides of the conversation himself.]
       Norm!   (Norman.)
       How are you feeling today, Norm?
       Rich and thirsty.  Pour me a beer.
                -- Cheers, Tan 'n Wash

Woody: What's the latest, Mr. Peterson?
Norm:  Zsa-Zsa marries a millionaire, Peterson drinks a beer.
       Film at eleven.
                -- Cheers, Knights of the Scimitar

Woody: How are you today, Mr. Peterson?
Norm:  Never been better, Woody. ... Just once I'd like to be better.
                -- Cheers, Chambers vs. Malone
Woody: How are you feeling today, Mr. Peterson?
Norm:  Poor.
Woody: Oh, I'm sorry to hear that.
Norm:  No, I meant `pour'.
                -- Cheers, Strange Bedfellows, Part 3

Woody: Hey, Mr. Peterson, what's the story?
Norm:  Boy meets beer.  Boy drinks beer.  Boy gets another beer.
                -- Cheers, The Proposal

Paul:  Hey Norm, how's the world been treating you?
Norm:  Like a baby treats a diaper.
                -- Cheers, Tan 'n Wash
f u cn rd ths, u cn gt a gd jb n cmptr prgrmmng.
"Plaese porrf raed."
                -- Prof. Michael O'Longhlin, S.U.N.Y. Purchase
alta, v:        To change; make or become different; modify.
ansa, v:        A spoken or written reply, as to a question.
baa, n:                A place people meet to have a few drinks.
Baaston, n:        The capital of Massachusetts.
baaba, n:        One whose business is to cut or trim hair or beards.
beea, n:        An alcoholic beverage brewed from malt and hops, often
                        found in baas.
caaa, n:        An automobile.
centa, n:        A point around which something revolves; axis.  (Or
                        someone involved with the Knicks.)
chouda, n:        A thick seafood soup, often in a milk base.
dada, n:        Information, esp. information organized for analysis or
                        computation.
                -- Massachewsetts Unabridged Dictionary
Decemba, n:        The 12th month of the year.
erra, n:        A mistake.
faa, n:                To, from, or at considerable distance.
Linder, n:        A female name.
memba, n:        To recall to the mind; think of again.
New Hampsha, n:        A state in the northeast United States.
New Yaak, n:        Another state in the northeast United States.
Novemba, n:        The 11th month of the year.
Octoba, n:        The 10th month of the year.
ova, n:                Location above or across a specified position.  What the
                        season is when the Knicks quit playing.
                -- Massachewsetts Unabridged Dictionary
paak, n:        A stadium or inclosed playing field. To put or leave (a
                        a vehicle) for a time in a certain location.
patato, n:        The starchy, edible tuber of a widely cultivated plant.
Septemba, n:        The 9th month of the year.
shua, n:        Having no doubt; certain.
sista, n:        A female having the same mother and father as the speaker.
tamato, n:        A fleshy, smooth-skinned reddish fruit eaten in salads
                        or as a vegetable.
troopa, n:        A state policeman.
Wista, n:        A city in central Masschewsetts.
yaad, n:        A tract of ground adjacent to a building.
                -- Massachewsetts Unabridged Dictionary
A sense of desolation and uncertainty, of futility, of the baselessness
of aspirations, of the vanity of endeavor, and a thirst for a life giving
water which seems suddenly to have failed, are the signs in conciousness
of this necessary reorganization of our lives.

It is difficult to believe that this state of mind can be produced by the
recognition of such facts as that unsupported stones always fall to the
ground.
                -- J.W.N. Sullivan
Actually, the probability is 100% that the elevator will be going in the
right direction.  Proof by induction:

N=1.        Trivially true, since both you and the elevator only have one
        floor to go to.

Assume true for N, prove for N+1:
        If you are on any of the first N floors, then it is true by the
        induction hypothesis.  If you are on the N+1st floor, then both you
        and the elevator have only one choice, namely down.  Therefore,
        it is true for all N+1 floors.
QED.
"I think it is true for all _n.  I was just playing it safe with _n >= 3
because I couldn't remember the proof."
                -- Baker, Pure Math 351a
"In short, _N is Richardian if, and only if, _N is not Richardian."
"It could be that Walter's horse has wings" does not imply that there is
any such animal as Walter's horse, only that there could be; but "Walter's
horse is a thing which could have wings" does imply Walter's horse's
existence.  But the conjunction "Walter's horse exists, and it could be
that Walter's horse has wings" still does not imply "Walter's horse is a
thing that could have wings", for perhaps it can only be that Walter's
horse has wings by Walter having a different horse.  Nor does "Walter's
horse is a thing which could have wings" conversely imply "It could be that
Walter's horse has wings"; for it might be that Walter's horse could only
have wings by not being Walter's horse.

I would deny, though, that the formula [Necessarily if some x has property P
then some x has property P] expresses a logical law, since P(x) could stand
for, let us say "x is a better logician than I am", and the statement "It is
necessary that if someone is a better logician than I am then someone is a
better logician than I am" is false because there need not have been any me.
                -- A.N. Prior, "Time and Modality"
Mathematicians often resort to something called Hilbert space, which is
described as being n-dimensional.  Like modern sex, any number can play.
                -- Dr. Thor Wald, "Beep/The Quincunx of Time", by James Blish
One of the chief duties of the mathematician in acting as an advisor...
is to discourage... from expecting too much from mathematics.
                -- N. Wiener
Proof techniques #1: Proof by Induction.

This technique is used on equations with "_n" in them.  Induction
techniques are very popular, even the military used them.

SAMPLE: Proof of induction without proof of induction.

        We know it's true for _n equal to 1.  Now assume that it's true
for every natural number less than _n.  _N is arbitrary, so we can take _n
as large as we want.  If _n is sufficiently large, the case of _n+1 is
trivially equivalent, so the only important _n are _n less than _n.  We
can take _n = _n (from above), so it's true for _n+1 because it's just
about _n.
        QED.        (QED translates from the Latin as "So what?")
Your mind is the part of you that says,
        "Why'n'tcha eat that piece of cake?"
... and then, twenty minutes later, says,
        "Y'know, if I were you, I wouldn't have done that!"
                -- Steven and Ondrea Levine
A is for awk, which runs like a snail, and
B is for biff, which reads all your mail.
C is for cc, as hackers recall, while
D is for dd, the command that does all.
E is for emacs, which rebinds your keys, and
F is for fsck, which rebuilds your trees.
G is for grep, a clever detective, while
H is for halt, which may seem defective.
I is for indent, which rarely amuses, and
J is for join, which nobody uses.
K is for kill, which makes you the boss, while
L is for lex, which is missing from DOS.
M is for more, from which less was begot, and
N is for nice, which it really is not.
O is for od, which prints out things nice, while
P is for passwd, which reads in strings twice.
Q is for quota, a Berkeley-type fable, and
R is for ranlib, for sorting ar table.
S is for spell, which attempts to belittle, while
T is for true, which does very little.
U is for uniq, which is used after sort, and
V is for vi, which is hard to abort.
W is for whoami, which tells you your name, while
X is, well, X, of dubious fame.
Y is for yes, which makes an impression, and
Z is for zcat, which handles compression.
                -- THE ABC'S OF UNIX
All the world's a VAX,
And all the coders merely butchers;
They have their exits and their entrails;
And one int in his time plays many widths,
His sizeof being _N bytes.  At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the Regent's arms.
And then the whining schoolboy, with his Sun,
And shining morning face, creeping like slug
Unwillingly to school.
                -- A Very Annoyed PDP-11
Come, let us hasten to a higher plane,
Where dyads tread the fairy fields of Venn,
Their indices bedecked from one to _n,
Commingled in an endless Markov chain!
                -- Stanislaw Lem, "Cyberiad"
        Hack placidly amidst the noisy printers and remember what prizes there
may be in Science.  As fast as possible get a good terminal on a good system.
Enter your data clearly but always encrypt your results.  And listen to others,
even the dull and ignorant, for they may be your customers.  Avoid loud and
aggressive persons, for they are sales reps.
        If you compare your outputs with those of others, you may be surprised,
for always there will be greater and lesser numbers than you have crunched.
Keep others interested in your career, and try not to fumble; it can be a real
hassle and could change your fortunes in time.
        Exercise system control in your experiments, for the world is full of
bugs.  But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive
for linearity and everywhere papers are full of approximations.  Strive for
proportionality.  Especially, do not faint when it occurs.  Neither be cyclical
about results; for in the face of all data analysis it is sure to be noticed.
        Take with a grain of salt the anomalous data points.  Gracefully pass
them on to the youth at the next desk.  Nurture some mutual funds to shield
you in times of sudden layoffs.  But do not distress yourself with imaginings
-- the real bugs are enough to screw you badly.  Murphy's Law runs the
Universe -- and whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt <Curl>B*n dS = 0.
        Therefore, grab for a piece of the pie, with whatever proposals you
can conceive of to try.  With all the crashed disks, skewed data, and broken
line printers, you can still have a beautiful secretary.  Be linear.  Strive
to stay employed.
                -- Technolorata, "Analog"
I have learned
To spell hors d'oeuvres
Which still grates on
Some people's n'oeuvres.
                -- Warren Knox
I'm N-ary the tree, I am,
N-ary the tree, I am, I am.
I'm getting traversed by the parser next door,
She's traversed me seven times before.
And ev'ry time it was an N-ary (N-ary!)
Never wouldn't ever do a binary. (No sir!)
I'm 'er eighth tree that was N-ary.
N-ary the tree I am, I am,
N-ary the tree I am.
                -- Stolen from Paul Revere and the Raiders
If I could stick my pen in my heart,
I would spill it all over the stage.
Would it satisfy ya, would it slide on by ya,
Would you think the boy was strange?
Ain't he strange?
...
If I could stick a knife in my heart,
Suicide right on the stage,
Would it be enough for your teenage lust,
Would it help to ease the pain?
Ease your brain?
                -- Rolling Stones, "It's Only Rock'N Roll"
The morning sun when it's in your face really shows your age,
But that don't bother me none; in my eyes you're everything.
I know I keep you amused,
But I feel I'm being used.
Oh, Maggie, I wish I'd never seen your face.

You took me away from home,
Just to save you from being alone;
You stole my heart, and that's what really hurts.

I suppose I could collect my books and get on back to school,
Or steal my daddy's cue and make a living out of playing pool,
Or find myself a rock 'n' roll band,
That needs a helping hand,
Oh, Maggie I wish I'd never seen your face.

You made a first-class fool out of me,
But I'm as blind as a fool can be.
You stole my soul, and that's a pain I can do without.
                -- Rod Stewart, "Maggie May"
Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends!
We're so glad you could attend, come inside, come inside!
There behind the glass there's a real blade of grass,
Be careful as you pass, move along, move along.
Come inside, the show's about to start,
Guaranteed to blow your head apart.
Rest assured, you'll get your money's worth,
Greatest show, in heaven, hell or earth!
You gotta see the show!  It's a dynamo!
You gotta see the show!  It's rock 'n' roll!
                -- ELP, "Karn Evil 9" (1st Impression, Part 2)
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"
EARL GREY PROFILES

NAME:                Jean-Luc Perriwinkle Picard
OCCUPATION:        Starship Big Cheese
AGE:                94
BIRTHPLACE:        Paris, Terra Sector
EYES:                Grey
SKIN:                Tanned
HAIR:                Not much
LAST MAGAZINE READ:
                Lobes 'n' Probes, the Ferengi-Betazoid Sex Quarterly
TEA:                Earl Grey.  Hot.

EARL GREY NEVER VARIES.
She won' go Warp 7, Cap'n!  The batteries are dead!
I will never trust someone called GATES that sells WINDOWS.

   -- Federico Romn
Linux Advocacy Crackdown

SHERIDAN, WY -- In an unprecedented blow to Linux advocacy, Aaron McAdams, an
employee at the Sheridan Try-N-Save Discount Store, was fired last week.
According to the store's general manager, McAdams was fired because "he
constantly rearranged items on shelves so that Linux-related books and
software boxes would be displayed more prominently than Windows merchandise."
McAdams' boss added, "If he would have spent as much time actually working as
he did hiding Windows books at the back of shelves, he wouldn't have received
the pink slip."

The general manager supplied Humorix with videotapes from the store's
security cameras showing McAdams in action.  In one scene, he takes a whole
stack of "...For Dummies" books and buries them in the Cheap Romance section,
an area of the store rarely visited by computer users.  In another, McAdams
can be plainly seen setting copies of Red Hat Linux in front of a large,
eye-catching display of various Microsoft products at the front of the
store.  Finally, at one point McAdams can be seen slapping huge tags reading
"DEMO DISPLAY BOX -- NOT AVAILABLE UNTIL 1999" on boxes of Windows 98.

McAdams disputes his bosses accusations.  "If he would spend more time
actually working instead of peering over security camera footage for hours on
end, this store might actually turn a profit for a change."
Microsoft Mandatory Survey (#13)

Customers who want to upgrade to Windows 98 Second Edition must now fill
out a Microsoft survey online before they can order the bugfix/upgrade.

Question 13: Which of the following new Microsoft products do you plan on
             buying within the next 6 months?

A. Windows For Babies(tm) - Using an enhanced "click-n-drool" interface,
   babies will be able to learn how to use a Wintel computer, giving them
   a head start in living in a Microsoft-led world.

B. Where In Redmond Is Carmen Sandiego?(tm) - The archvillian Sandiego has
   stolen the Windows source code and must be stopped before she can
   publish it on the Net.

C. ActiveKeyboard 2000(tm) - An ergonomic keyboard that replaces useless
   keys like SysRq and Scroll Lock with handy keys like "Play Solitaire"
   and "Visit Microsoft.com".

D. Visual BatchFile(tm) - An IDE and compiler for the MS-DOS batch file
   language. MSNBC calls it "better than Perl".
Jargon Coiner (#12)

An irregular feature that aims to give you advance warning of new jargon
that we've just made up.

* IPO (I've Patented the Obvious): Acquiring patents on trivial things and
  then hitting other companies over the head with them.

  Example: "Amazon just IPO'd one-click spam and is now ready to sue B&N."

* IPO (I'm Pissed Off): Exclamation given by a Linux user who was unable
  to participate in a highly lucrative Linux IPO due to lack of capital or
  E*Trade problems. Also uttered by Linux hackers who did not receive The
  Letter from Red Hat or VA Linux even though their friends did.
  
* YAKBA (Yet Another Killer Backhoe Attack): The acronym that describes
  network outtages caused by a careless backhoe operator.

  Examples: "Don't blame us, our website was offline after we suffered a
  YAKBA". "Don't worry about Y2K, what we need to think about is
  YAKBA-compliance."
UNobfuscated Perl Code Contest

The Perl Gazette has announced the winners in the First Annual Unobfuscated
Perl Code Contest. First place went to Edwin Fuller, who submitted this
unobfuscated program:

  #!/usr/bin/perl
  print "Hello world!\n";

"This was definitely a challenging contest," said an ecstatic Edwin
Fuller. "I've never written a Perl program before that didn't have
hundreds of qw( $ @ % & * | ? / \ ! # ~ ) symbols. I really had to summon
all of my programming skills to produce an unobfuscated program."

...The second place winner, Mrs. Sea Pearl, submitted the following code:

  #!/usr/bin/perl
  use strict;
  # Do nothing, successfully
  exit(0);
The major advances in civilization are processes that all but wreck the
societies in which they occur.
                -- A.N. Whitehead
Linus, Alan - Please apply the following self-explanatory patch.

+       /* LynuxWorks are politely reminded that removing copyright
+          notices is an offence under the Copyright Design and
+          Patents Act 1988, and under equivalent non-UK law in
+          accordance with the Berne Convention. */
+       printk("Portions (C) 2000, 2001 Red Hat, Inc.\n");

        - David Woodhouse on linux-kernel
/*
*  Check for clue free BIOS implementations who use
*  the following QA technique
*
*      [ Write BIOS Code ]<------
*               |                ^
*      < Does it Compile >----N--
*               |Y               ^
*      < Does it Boot Win98 >-N--
*               |Y
*           [Ship It]
*
*/

        - comment from arch/i386/kernel/dmi_scan.c
:) Even an (ex)girlfriend of mine said that Linux is much better than Windows,
because of the messages on boot ("superb cyber feeling a'la Matrix :)").

        - Gbor Lnrt on linux-kernel
Tout choses sont dites deja, mais comme personne n'ecoute, il faut
toujours recommencer.
                -- A. Gide

[ All things have already been said, but since no one listens, one
  must always start again. ]
Gold, n.:
  A soft malleable metal relatively scarce in distribution.  It is mined
  deep in the earth by poor men who then give it to rich men who immediately
  bury it back in the earth in great prisons, although gold hasn't done
  anything to them.
        -- Mike Harding, "The Armchair Anarchist's Almanac"
California, n.:
    From Latin "calor", meaning "heat" (as in English "calorie" or
Spanish "caliente"); and "fornia'" for "sexual intercourse" or
"fornication." Hence: Tierra de California, "the land of hot sex."
        -- Ed Moran
* knghtbrd does the ET thing
<knghtbrd> anybody got a speak-n-spell?
if (me != you)        // FIXME: probably always true, delete?
    for (n = 0; n < who_knows_what; n++) {
        answer = DoSomething (withthis[n]);
        if (answer == foobar) {
            GetLost (n);
            break;
        }
    }
<rcw> liiwi: printk("CPU0 on fire\n");
<knghtbrd> but one sort per tab and none per list is arguably better than
           O(n + n**2) per tab and O(n**2) per list.
<knghtbrd> OMG, someone shoot me.
<Coderjoe2> ?
<knghtbrd> I can't believe I just used the big goose-egg to explain why my
           way is probably best in the long run.
Fortune Documents the Great Legal Decisions:

We think that we may take judicial notice of the fact that the term "bitch"
may imply some feeling of endearment when applied to a female of the canine
species but that it is seldom, if ever, so used when applied to a female
of the human race. Coming as it did, reasonably close on the heels of two
revolver shots directed at the person of whom it was probably used, we think
it carries every reasonable implication of ill-will toward that person.
                -- Smith v. Moran, 193 N.E. 2d 466.
Joshu:        What is the true Way?
Nansen:        Every way is the true Way.
J:        Can I study it?
N:        The more you study, the further from the Way.
J:        If I don't study it, how can I know it?
N:        The Way does not belong to things seen: nor to things unseen.
        It does not belong to things known: nor to things unknown.  Do
        not seek it, study it, or name it.  To find yourself on it, open
        yourself as wide as the sky.
    if (argc > 1 && strcmp(argv[1], "-advice") == 0) {
        printf("Don't Panic!\n");
        exit(42);
    }
        -- Arnold Robbins in the LJ of February '95, describing RCS
DOS: n., A small annoying boot virus that causes random spontaneous system
     crashes, usually just before saving a massive project.  Easily cured by
     UNIX.  See also MS-DOS, IBM-DOS, DR-DOS.
        -- David Vicker's .plan
Footnotes are for things you believe don't really belong in LDP manuals,
but want to include anyway.
        -- Joel N. Weber II discussing the 'make' chapter of LPG
N: Phil Lewis
E: beans@bucket.ualr.edu
D: Promised to send money if I would put his name in the source tree.
S: PO Box 371
S: North Little Rock, Arkansas 72115
S: US
        -- /usr/src/linux/CREDITS
Old MacLinus had a stack/l-i-n-u-x/and on this stack he had a trace/l-i-n-u-x
with an Oops-Oops here and an Oops-Oops there
here an Oops, there an Oops, everywhere an Oops-Oops.
        -- tjimenez@site.gmu.edu, linux.dev.kernel
Dealing with the problem of pure staff accumulation,
all our researches ... point to an average increase of 5.75% per year.
                -- C.N. Parkinson
Please try to limit the amount of "this room doesn't have any bazingas"
until you are told that those rooms are "punched out."  Once punched out,
we have a right to complain about atrocities, missing bazingas, and such.
                -- N. Meyrowitz
Recent research has tended to show that the Abominable No-Man
is being replaced by the Prohibitive Procrastinator.
                -- C.N. Parkinson
The individual choice of garnishment of a burger can be an important
point to the consumer in this day when individualism is an increasingly
important thing to people.
                -- Donald N. Smith, president of Burger King
The time spent on any item of the agenda [of a finance committee] will be
in inverse proportion to the sum involved.
                -- C.N. Parkinson
Those who do things in a noble spirit of self-sacrifice are to be avoided
at all costs.
                -- N. Alexander.
Because . doesn't match \n.  [\0-\377] is the most efficient way to match
everything currently.  Maybe \e should match everything.  And \E would
of course match nothing.   :-)
             -- Larry Wall in <9847@jpl-devvax.JPL.NASA.GOV>
:       I've tried (in vi) "g/[a-z]\n[a-z]/s//_/"...but that doesn't
: cut it.  Any ideas?  (I take it that it may be a two-pass sort of solution).
In the first pass, install perl. :-)
             -- Larry Wall <6849@jpl-devvax.JPL.NASA.GOV>
*** The previous line contains the naughty word "$&".\n
if /(ibm|apple|awk)/;      # :-)
             -- Larry Wall in the perl man page
Sometime when you least expect it, Love will tap you on the shoulder...
and ask you to move out of the way because it still isn't your turn.
                -- N.V. Plyter
I love ROCK 'N ROLL!  I memorized the all WORDS to "WIPE-OUT" in
1965!!
I want EARS!  I want two ROUND BLACK EARS to make me feel warm 'n secure!!
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"
No guarantee of accuracy or completeness!
©TU Chemnitz, 2006-2021
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