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broken arrow

broken arrow: [IBM] n. The error code displayed on line 25 of a
   3270 terminal (or a PC emulating a 3270) for various kinds of
   protocol violations and "unexpected" error conditions (including
   connection to a down computer).  On a PC, simulated with
   `->/_', with the two center characters overstruck.

Note: to appreciate this term fully, it helps to know that `broken arrow' is also military jargon for an accident involving nuclear weapons....