(SF fandom, originally as mutation of HHOK, "Ha Ha Only Kidding") A phrase (often seen abbreviated as HHOS) that aptly captures the flavour of much hacker discourse. Applied especially to parodies, absurdities, and ironic jokes that are both intended and perceived to contain a possibly disquieting amount of truth, or truths that are constructed on in-joke and self-parody.
The Jargon File contains many examples of ha-ha-only-serious in both form and content. Indeed, the entirety of hacker culture is often perceived as ha-ha-only-serious by hackers themselves; to take it either too lightly or too seriously marks a person as an outsider, a wannabee, or in larval stage. For further enlightenment on this subject, consult any Zen master. See also AI koan.
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Nearby terms: hack together « hack up « hack value « ha ha only serious » hair » hairy » hairy ball