Sunday, October 17, 1971

I Have Literally Coined A New Phrase!

Earlier today I found myself in a heated (some would say "heated") discussion about the data-base my team is putting together for our project at D.A.R.P.A. This discussion hinged upon the data to be based in our data-base, and specifically the data about the data being based in the data-base.

This "meta-data," as it is called, is critical to proper data basage, and there is indeed a growing body of terms that need to be invented just to describe this meta-data. My colleagues and I were quibbling over these terms when our project manager, Lance "Dude" Dudowski intervened.

"Gentlemen," he said, looking at us over the rims of his tortoise-shell glasses and adjusting his pocket protector, "it would appear that we need a meta-language for our meta-data."

"Dude," I replied, "that's so meta."

We all laughed, of course, as the turn of phrase and my dead-pan delivery was indeed quite humor-ous. But as the snorts and chuckles died down I found myself thinking about this newly-minted turn-of-phrase and its potential applications in other fields. "That's so meta" could just as easily refer to songs about songwriting, or movies about the film industry, or books about books.

Thus I present this phrase to the world. Literally decades before the invention of hipsters, the phrase "that's so meta" is now here-to-fore a part of the linguistic lexicon, and I am literally its inventor.

And now I bestow it unto you. Use it wisely and widely, my dear readers, for "that's so meta" is going places!

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