The Computer Contradictionary

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The Computer Contradictionary
The Computer Contradictionary.jpg
AuthorStan Kelly-Bootle
CountryUnited States
Publication date
May 1995
Media typePrint
Pages256 pages

The Computer Contradictionary is a non-fiction book by Stan Kelly-Bootle that compiles a satirical list of definitions of computer industry terms. It is an example of "cynical lexicography" in the tradition of Ambrose Bierce's The Devil's Dictionary.[1] Rather than offering a factual account of usage, its definitions are largely made up by the author.[2]

The book was published in May 1995 by MIT Press and is an update of Kelly-Bootle's The Devil's DP Dictionary which appeared in 1981.[3]


Endless loop. See: Loop, endless
Loop, endless. See: Endless loop
Recursion. See: Recursion


The Los Angeles Times panned the book, wrote that it was "smartly-titled" but was an "awfully stupid book".[4] ACM Computing Reviews recommended dipping into it because "a dictionary is a difficult read".[3]


  1. ^ "The Court Jester of Computerdom". Dr Dobb's Electronic Review of Books. Archived from the original on 22 February 1997.
  2. ^ Raymond, Eric S (1996). The New Hacker's Dictionary - 3rd Edition. MIT Press. pp. 534–535.
  3. ^ a b Blackman, A (Mar 1, 1996). "Review: The computer contradictionary (2nd ed.)". ACM Computing Reviews.
  4. ^ Harris, Krissy (January 26, 1998). "Dictionaries to De-Encrypt What the Digerati Are Saying". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 29 October 2012.