= R =
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 town. See also fear and loathing, mundane, and
--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.