Jester's Condescending English Dictionary - C

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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
(1) A familiar kitchen-garden vegetable about as large and wise as
a man's head.

-- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"

(2) The fare you pay a taxi driver.
A very expensive part of the memory system of a computer that no one
is supposed to know is there.
A man who doesn't tell his wife that he's sterile until she's pregnant.
See also henpecked husband
Caesarean Sectionn
A district in Rome.
Cahn's Axiomn
When all else fails, read the instructions.
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, Covina, California
A negotiable blonde.
Camille's Axiomn
If you haven't asked yourself, "Why the hell did
I go to college anyway?", you must be teaching.
Campbell's Lawn
Nature abhors a vacuous experimenter.
Canada Bill
Jones's Motto
It's morally wrong to allow suckers to keep their money.

Canada Bill Jones's Supplement:

A Smith and Wesson beats four aces.
The usual or standard state or manner of something. A true story:

One Bob Sjoberg, new at the MIT AI Lab, expressed some annoyance at the use
of jargon. Over his loud objections, we made a point of using jargon as
much as possible in his presence, and eventually it began to sink in.
Finally, in one conversation, he used the word "canonical" in jargon-like
fashion without thinking.

Steele: "Aha! We've finally got you talking jargon too!"

Stallman: "What did he say?"

Steele: "He just used `canonical' in the canonical way."
Captain Penny's Lawn
You can fool all of the people some of the time, and
some of the people all of the time, but you Can't Fool Mom.
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"
Carson's Consolationn
Nothing is ever a complete failure.
It can always be used as a bad example.
Carson's Observation
on Footwear
If the shoe fits, buy the other one too.
Carswell's Corollaryn
Whenever man comes up with a better mousetrap,
nature invariably comes up with a better mouse.
Lapwarmer with built-in buzzer.
Feline medicinal drink?
cerebral atrophyn
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 darwinismn
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.
Chamberlain's Lawspl, n
(1) The big guys always win.
(2) Everything tastes more or less like chicken.
Four women plus one luncheon check.
See also bedlam, confusion and excitement
character densityn
The number of very weird people in the office.
A thing that begins at home and usually stays there.
The most unnatural of the sexual perversions.

-- Aldous Huxley
Chastity beltn
An anti-trust suit.

(And an unchivalrous knight is the one that files it.)
The thirteenth month of the year. Begins New Year's Day and ends
when a person stops absentmindedly writing the old year on his cheques.
Any cook who swears in French.
Cheit's Lamentn
If you help a friend in need, he is sure to remember you--
the next time he's in need.
Chemicalspl, n
Noxious substances from which modern foods are made.
Cheops' Lawn
Nothing ever gets built on schedule or within budget.
Where the dead still vote ... early and often!
Chicken Soupn
An ancient miracle drug containing equal parts of aureomycin,
cocaine, interferon, and TLC. The only ailment chicken soup
can't cure is neurotic dependence on one's mother.

-- Arthur Naiman, "Every Goy's Guide to Yiddish"
Childrenpl, n
The people that you ought to be nice to, because they choose the old people's home you're going to live in.
Chism's Law of Completionn
The amount of time required to complete a government project is
precisely equal to the length of time already spent on it.
Chisolm's First
Corollary to Murphy's
Second Law
When things just can't possibly get any worse, they will.
A man who was born at least 5,000 years ahead of his time.
One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired
book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor. One who
follows the teachings of Christ in so far as they are not inconsistent
with a life of sin.

-- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
(1) A time when each of us gets to reflect upon what we each most
deeply and sincerely believe in. Money. At the mall of our choice.

(2) A day set apart by some as a time for turkey, presents, cranberry
salads, family get-togethers; for others, noted as having the best
response time of the entire year.
Churchill's Commentary
on Man:
Man will occasionally stumble over the truth,
but most of the time he will pick himself up and continue on.
A fire at one end, a fool at the other, and a bit of tobacco in between.
The combination of popcorn, soda, and melted chocolate which
covers the floors of movie theaters.

-- Rich Hall, "Sniglets"
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"
Clarke's Conclusionn
Never let your sense of morals interfere with doing the right thing.
Clarke's Third Lawn
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

G's Third Law:

In spite of all evidence to the contrary, the entire universe
is composed of only two basic substances: magic and bullshit.

H's Dictum:

There is no magic ...
Clay's Conclusionn
Creativity is great, but plagiarism is faster.
Where their last tornado did six million dollars worth of improvements.
The best thing to do with a ladder.
1. An exact duplicate, as in "our product is a clone of their
2. A shoddy, spurious copy, as in "their product
is a clone of our product."
Clovis' Consideration
of an Atmospheric
The perversity of nature is nowhere better demonstrated
than by the fact that, when exposed to the same atmosphere,
bread becomes hard while crackers become soft.
(1) An exercise in Artificial Inelegance.
(2) Completely Over and Beyond reason Or Logic.
The thinking man's Dristan.
Cohen's Lawn
There is no bottom to worse.
Cohn's Lawn
The more time you spend in reporting on what you are doing, the less
time you have to do anything. Stability is achieved when you spend
all your time reporting on the nothing you are doing.
A jerky movement following the words (by either sex partner)
"I want to have your child."
(1) When the local flashers are handing out written descriptions.

(2) When your dog sticks to the fire hydrant.

(3) When the politicians walk around with their hands in their own pockets.
Cole's Lawn
Cabbage must be thinly sliced and served with carrots and mayonaise.
A literary partnership based on the false assumption that the
other fellow can spell.
The fountains of knowledge, where everyone goes to drink.
Where they don't buy M & M's, 'cause they're so hard to peel.
Colvard's Logical
All probabilities are 50%.
Either a thing will happen or it won't.See also Colvard's Unconscionable Commentary and Grelb's Commentary
Colvard's Unconscionable
This is especially true when dealing with someone you're attracted to.See also Colvard's Logical Premises and Grelb's Commentary
A punctuation mark.
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.
A superfluous element of a source program included so the
programmer can remember what the hell it was he was doing
six months later. Only the weak-minded need them, according
to those who think they aren't.
[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 Rulesn
(1) Never arrive on time, or you will be stamped a beginner.

(2) Don't say anything until the meeting is half over; this
stamps you as being wise.

(3) Be as vague as possible; this prevents irritating the

(4) When in doubt, suggest that a subcommittee be appointed.

(5) Be the first to move for adjournment; this will make you
popular -- it's what everyone is waiting for.
A group of men who individually can do nothing but as a group
decide that nothing can be done.

-- Fred Allen
Commoner's three
laws of ecology
pl, n
(1) No action is without side-effects.

(2) Nothing ever goes away.

(3) There is no free lunch.
Complex systemn
One with real problems and imaginary profits.
When you say something to another which everyone knows isn't true.
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.
Hot Apple pie.
Computer sciencen
(1) A study akin to numerology and astrology, but lacking the
precision of the former and the success of the latter.

(2) The protracted value analysis of algorithms.

(3) The costly enumeration of the obvious.

(4) The boring art of coping with a large number of trivialities.

(5) Tautology harnessed in the service of Man at the speed of light.

(6) The Post-Turing decline in formal systems theory.
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.
Any "idea" for which an outside consultant billed you more than
An item to be worn on every concievable occasion.
Condomspl, n
Homes for retired semen.
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, confidanten
One entrusted by A with the secrets of B, confided to himself by C.

-- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
Confirmed bachelorn
A man who goes through life without a hitch.
(1) Father's Day in San Francisco.

(2) One woman plus one left turn.
See also bedlam, chaos and excitement
Connector Conspiracyn
[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.
The thing that aches when everything else feels good.
Consent decreen
A document in which a hapless company consents never to commit
in the future whatever heinous violations of Federal law it
never admitted to in the first place.
(1) One who admires radicals centuries after they're dead.

-- Leo C. Rosten

(2) A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished
from the Liberal who wishes to replace them with others.

-- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
(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.

(3) [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.

(4) An ordinary man a long way from home.

(5) Someone who knowns 101 ways to make love, but can't get a date.

(6) Someone who'd rather climb a tree and tell a lie than stand on
the ground and tell the truth.
Medical term meaning "to share the wealth."
Continental breakfastn
(1) English for "not enough food".
See also Dim Sum, Nouvelle cuisine and Tapas
(2) A roll in bed with some honey.
A vocal competition in which the one who is catching his breath
is called the listener.
Conway's Lawn
In any organization there will always be one person who knows
what is going on.
This person must be fired.
Like making love in a canoe -- f*****g close to water.
What an Italian police chief says to an officer who doesn't get to work on time.
Copying machinen
A device that shreds paper, flashes mysteriously coded messages,
and makes duplicates for everyone in the office who isn't
interested in reading them.
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"
Corporate Virginn
New girl in the office.
An experiment may be considered a success if no more than half
your data must be discarded to obtain correspondence with your theory.
In politics, holding an office of trust or profit.
Corry's Lawn
Paper is always strongest at the perforations.
A place where they dispense with justice.

-- Arthur Train
One who in a perilous emergency thinks with his legs.

-- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
To pay homage to a sacred cow.
Cox's philosophyn
Life's a bitch, then you die.
coyote loven
Coyote love is a nebulous term. Basically, what it involves is
the taking of a member of the preferred sex home from a singles
bar. Then, when you wake up the next morning, they're sleeping
on your arm. So, rather than wake them up as you escape, you
chew off your arm at the shoulder.
coyote uglyadj
When you chew off the other arm 'cause she'll be looking for
a one-armed man!

See also proof that average instantaneous beauty increases monotonically
as alcohol consumption increases and time, t, approaches last call.
A man who has a better memory than a debtor.
Crenna's Law of
Political Accountability
If you are the first to know about something bad, you are going to be
held responsible for acting on it, regardless of your formal duties.
Testing the neighbours' tolerance level. See also P, F, PP and FF
Eight big men and their cute little cox.
Nowadays the order of life is reversed: Sex is first enjoyed,
marriage follows, and after marriage comes abstinence.
A person who boasts himself hard to please because nobody tries
to please him.

-- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
Croll's Queryn
If tin whistles are made of tin, what are foghorns made of?
Cropp's Lawn
The amount of work done varies inversly with the time spent in the
Cruickshank's Law
of Committees
If a committee is allowed to discuss a bad idea long enough, it
will inevitably decide to implement the idea simply because so
much work has already been done on it.
One whose program will not run.

-- Robb Russon
cursor addressn
"Hello, cursor!"

-- Stan Kelly-Bootle, "The Devil's DP Dictionary"
The enforced compression of a string in the fixed-length field
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.See also MOZ DONG
-- Stan Kelly-Bootle, "The Devil's DP Dictionary"
Cutler Webster's Lawn
There are two sides to every argument, unless a person
is personally involved, in which case there is only one.
(1) 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"

(2) Experienced.

(3) One who looks through rose-colored glasses with a jaundiced eye.

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