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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

I often wonder: When did everybody around me learn Yiddish?

John Glenn brought the word to the English Language. Is there nothing he can't do?

Word History: Although glitch seems a word that people would always have found useful, it is first recorded in English in 1962 in the writing of John Glenn: "Another term we adopted to describe some of our problems was 'glitch.' " Glenn then gives the technical sense of the word the astronauts had adopted: "Literally, a glitch is a spike or change in voltage in an electrical current." It is easy to see why the astronauts, who were engaged in a highly technical endeavor, might have generalized a term from electronics to cover other technical problems. Since then glitch has passed beyond technical use and now covers a wide variety of malfunctions and mishaps.

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