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Computing (FOLDOC) dictionary (also found in English - English (Wordnet), )
Real World
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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 centre of Cambridge.