Lyle Seaman

Ungrounded Galoshes

by in Error'd on

There's no real theme to be gleaned from this week's submissions, just the usual sort of things and a tiny serving of irony courtesy of Google.

Undercover QA engineer Randy O. somehow provoked British Gas to refuse to quote him a meaningful fee. "I uploaded my meter readings to the British Gas website, and they updated my estimated bill," he explained. "When they want me to pay it I may just say NaH." And that's no lye.

Movement Activated

by in Error'd on

England and the United States, according to the old witticism, are two countries separated by a common language. The first sample deposited in our inbox by Philip B. this week probably demonstrates the aphorism. "I'm all in favor of high-tech solutions but what happens if I only want (ahem) a Number One?" he asked. I read, and read again, and couldn't find the slightest thing funny about it. Then I realized that it must be a Brit thing.

We call it a Bowel MOVEMENT in North American English

Poetry in Motion

by in Error'd on

So much cringe here today. Obviously, the first submission below just reeks of professional sycophantry on so many levels. I can't decide which is more offensive, the barefoot butcher or the grotesque attempt to humanize a vogon. To take the edge off, I'll start you out with a very old shaggy dog punchline. The actual setup for this groaner is pretty horrible, though someone on the internet has dutifully compiled the definitive collection of all known variants. Sparing you that misery, I'll cut straight to the chase: Rudolf the Red knows rain, dear. Now you can decide which gag is more worthy: that, or this.

My English vocabulary cannot convey the complexity of my feelings about Beatrix W. who shared a monstrosity, reporting innocently "I was just looking for a book about AppleScript by a Japanese author." Is there a Japanese word for "thank you for this gift but never do it again?"

Untimely Ripp'd

by in Error'd on

This week we bring you a whole set of submissions that prove, once again, that web programmers just can't keep track of time. But first, a sop with a regular. Is a flying NaN safer than a Camel? I wouldn't recommend making either a habit.

Friend Argle right, submissions to Error'd from actual desktop applications are rare. He explanes "I routinely expect this from websites. I did NOT expect to find it in MSFS. It came up when I deleted all the digits." Good for you, Mr. B. I can't type a lick without digits.


by in Error'd on

The submissions this week seemed to have coincidentally developed a theme of self-reference. You tell me.

First, persistent Caleb S. tried over and over again to submit this same item for our consideration. He called it a "space-enfolding bus" and said that "There's apparently more space in this Afternoon Tea bus than meets the eye -- you can book seats for 500 adults and 500 children." Alas, his submission came without an image, so we asked for a do-over. Dutifully done, Caleb's second and third attempts both reported "Please use the comments from when I tried to submit this without an image." With that behind us, here is the image from the final attempt.


by in Error'd on

This week we have a veritable grab-bag of all the most common sorts of website errors: the NaN, the null, the undefined, the bad text substitution and the wonky date math. Honestly, they're getting tedious. Somebody should build a tool to help developers scrub their code of impurities and dross. They could call it something catchy like, I dunno, purifier or lintbrush.

Timely Todd R. tells us "I left a window open in Workday for too long, and like a lot of other apps it threatened to log me out. I just wish I knew when that was..."


by in Error'd on

Knock knock.

Matthew shared a classic catch-22 that didn't catch any, explaining " is in the middle of a Reddit outage (actually, after the outage has been "restored" and we are "monitoring the situation"). The whole point of hosting a status page separately is so that it does not share common failure mechanism with the site being monitored!"

Anno Domini

by in Error'd on

Buffalo, New York is a recovering Rust Belt city which has given the world several notable achievements. First, a fairly forgettable sliced meat sandwich au jus more known for its barely edible stale roll than for the entirely unremarkable beef entombed within. Second, an innovative repurposing of a castoff fowl appendage into a drunkard's delicacy (and Mlle Simpson's famed befuddlement). Most of all, it's indispensable for the construction of a lighthearted linguistic shibboleth: Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo... and so on. Unfortunately, the city also brings us bad news this week.

But first, Tony H. reminds us of a famously scandal-ridden bank. Theirs might not have been the worst fraud in 2016 (or 2017, or 2018, or 2019) but apparently they're now tightening down the screws on consumer lending. Tony observes, frostily, "a credit card with a limit below zero is alarming even for Wells Fargo."