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July 31, 2014

Word of the Day

  • kludge
  • audio pronunciation
  • \KLOOJ\
  • DEFINITION

noun

: a system and especially a computer system made up of poorly matched components

  • EXAMPLE

Ralph was extremely pleased when his employer purchased a new computer system to replace the kludge that had continually crashed at critical moments.

"Many biologists, from Darwin to Crick, have pointed out that evolution is frequently a kludge: Bits are added on to other bits, organs originally selected for one function assume another, and so on." — John Staddon, The New Behaviorism, Second Edition, 2014

  • DID YOU KNOW?

The first recorded use of the word "kludge" is attributed to Jackson W. Granholm, who defined the word in a 1962 issue of the magazine Datamation as: "an ill-assorted collection of poorly-matching parts, forming a distressing whole." He further explained that it was derived from the German word "klug," meaning "smart" or "witty." Why Granholm included a "d" in his spelling is not known. What we do know is that speakers of American English have agreed to keep it silent, making the vowel pronunciation of "kludge" reflect the pronunciation of German "klug" (KLOOK). We can also tell you that not everyone agrees with Granholm on the "d" matter: the spelling "kluge" is also popularly used.

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Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP

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