Real World: N. 1. Those Institutions At Which `programming' May Be Used In The Same Sentence As `FORTRAN', `{COBOL}', `RPG', `{IBM}', `DBASE', Etc.

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:Real World: n. 1. Those institutions at which `programming' may
be used in the same sentence as `FORTRAN', `{COBOL}',
`RPG', `{IBM}', `DBASE', etc. Places where programs do such
commercially necessary but intellectually uninspiring things as
generating payroll checks and invoices. 2. The location of
non-programmers and activities not related to programming. 3. A
bizarre dimension in which the standard dress is shirt and tie and
in which a person's working hours are defined as 9 to 5 (see
{code grinder}). 4. Anywhere outside a university. "Poor
fellow, he's left MIT and gone into the Real World." Used
pejoratively by those not in residence there. In conversation,
talking of someone who has entered the Real World is not unlike
speaking of a deceased person. It is also noteworthy that on the
campus of Cambridge University in England, there is a gaily-painted
lamp-post which bears the label `REALITY CHECKPOINT'. It marks the
boundary between university and the Real World; check your notions
of reality before passing. This joke is funnier because the
Cambridge `campus' is actually coextensive with the center of
Cambridge. See also {fear and loathing}, {mundane}, and
-- The AI Hackers Dictionary