The Jargon File

A Chronology...The Jargon FileComputer Dictionary
n.1.A celestial object whose phase is very important to hackers. See PHASE OF THE MOON.
2.Dave Moon (MOON@MC).
n. The topic of one's mumbling (see MUMBLE). "All that mumblage" is used like "all that stuff" when it is not quite clear what it is or how it works, or like "all that crap" when "mumble" is being used as an implicit replacement for obscenities.
interj.1.Said when the correct response is either too complicated to enunciate or the speaker has not thought it out. Often prefaces a longer answer, or indicates a general reluctance to get into a big long discussion. "Well, mumble."
2. Sometimes used as an expression of disagreement. "I think we should buy it." "Mumble!" Common variant: MUMBLE FROTZ.
3.Yet another metasyntactic variable, like FOO.
(often confused with "mung", q.v.) v. To transform information in a serial fashion, often requiring large amounts of computation. To trace down a data structure. Related to CRUNCH (q.v.), but connotes less pain.
n. A display hack dating back to the PDP-1, which employs a trivial computation (involving XOR'ing of x-y display coordinates - see HAKMEM items 146-148) to produce an impressive display of moving, growing, and shrinking squares. The hack usually has a parameter (usually taken from toggle switches) which when well-chosen can produce amazing effects. Some of these, discovered recently on the LISP machine, have been christened MUNCHING TRIANGLES, MUNCHING W'S, and MUNCHING MAZES.
(variant: MUNGE) [recursive acronym for Mung Until No Good] v.1. To make changes to a file, often large-scale, usually irrevocable. Occasionally accidental. See BLT.
2. To destroy, usually accidentally, occasionally maliciously. The system only mungs things maliciously.
adj.1.Some large and indeterminate number of objects; "There were N bugs in that crock!"; also used in its original sense of a variable name.
2. An arbitrarily large (and perhaps infinite) number.
3. A variable whose value is specified by the current context. "We'd like to order N wonton soups and a family dinner for N-1."
4. NTH:adj. The ordinal counterpart of N. "Now for the Nth and last time..." In the specific context "Nth-year grad student", N is generally assumed to be at least 4, and is usually 5 or more. See also 69.
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