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Idaho State University

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Real World
  • n. 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.
  • The location of non-programmers and activities not related to programming.
  • 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).
  • 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 uninteresting.