This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.



Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Nuts and Bolts: 404.

A 404 is a stupid or ineffectual person.

The word 404 - if it is a word - comes from a World Wide Web error message: 404 not found.

There's probably a literary term for this kind of word - again, if it is a word - but unfortunately I have no idea what it is.

In my Collins Dictionary it comes between four-o'clock and four-part, which means that the dictionary indexes it as four-o-four. But I don't know if anyone ever writes it that way.
 
It was certainly written in numbers during the 2011 protests in Greece, where one of the most popular slogans was "Error 404: Democracy not found".

In Tunisia, censorship of the world wide web (hmmm, so it's not that world-wide, then, is it?) led to 404 messages becoming so common that Tunisian bloggers invented a character called Ammar to blame for all the nuisance.

In England, 404 can also mean utterly clueless.

And, having tried to write this post, I realise that describes me beautifully.

Word (if it is a word) to use today: 404. Or perhaps 747, which is a jumbo jet. Or 322, which is the bus that used to take us to town from my childhood home.

Or 2, which is a hair cut.





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