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Real World

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