the X that can be Y is not the true X

Yet another instance of hackerdom's peculiar attraction to mystical references - a common humorous way of making exclusive statements about a class of things. The template is from the "Tao te Ching": "The Tao which can be spoken of is not the true Tao." The implication is often that the X is a mystery accessible only to the enlightened. See the trampoline entry for an example, and compare has the X nature.

[Jargon File]

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Nearby terms: The story of Mel « The story of Mel, a Real Programmer « The World Of Cryton « the X that can be Y is not the true X » thicket » thick Ethernet cable » thick film dielectric electroluminescence


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Copyright Denis Howe 1985

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