Friday, April 15, 2005

Beyond... something...

A member of the Maths faculty was opining to me about an error message that was appearing on his laptop. I explained that he could ignore the error message because it was, in fact, an erroneous error message.

That got me thinking. Is there a word for such a thing? All we could come up with was that it was a "meta-error". It reminded me of a metalworking factory in my home town I always saw from the train. It was called "metaland" with the typography overlapping in such a way that it was "metal-land". But no, not for me. For me it was and always shall be the magical place inhabited by supersets and self-referential entities. I could never shop there because the shop guy would always say "nah, we don't sell that stuff, only stuff that's about stuff." Like going to a bookstore that only has books about bookstores, or a bookstore that only has books about books that are about bookstores.

My brain hurts.

I spoke about this once with a friend. All we could conclude from the exchange was that we were both incurable nerds.


Joel Baltaks said...

It reminds me of the classic error dialog that is completely blank, except for the "OK" button. Or "no keyboard detected - press a key"

zzymurgy said...

There used to be an amusement park and roller coaster on the top level of a well-known multi-storey shopping centre in Adelaide.

It was called "DAZZELAND", which in my opinion is even more complicated than your example, because not only did the 'L' overlap between the words, but they'd also modified the spelling of "dazzle".

The place was clearly doomed from the start. Nobody knew how to spell it.