When something goes pear-shaped in a computer system, engineers may draw on a surprisingly rich vocabulary to describe it: bug, error, problem, failure, issue and many others. All of them can be taken at face value as engineers generally find it very hard to be dishonest about their own creations.

All of them but one. There’s one very special word which roughly translates into layman’s English as “a catastrophic failure that is so severe that we’d rather play down its seriousness to avoid panic”

And that word is “glitch”.

When you hear it, run.


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