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line noise

line noise: n. 1. [techspeak] Spurious characters due to
   electrical noise in a communications link, especially an RS-232
   serial connection.  Line noise may be induced by poor connections,
   interference or crosstalk from other circuits, electrical storms,
   cosmic rays, or (notionally) birds crapping on the phone
   wires.  2. Any chunk of data in a file or elsewhere that looks like
   the results of line noise in sense 1.  3. Text that is
   theoretically a readable text or program source but employs syntax
   so bizarre that it looks like line noise in senses 1 or 2.  Yes,
   there are languages this ugly.  The canonical example is TECO;
   it is often claimed that "TECO's input syntax is indistinguishable
   from line noise."  Other non-WYSIWYG editors, such as Multics
   `qed' and Unix `ed', in the hands of a real hacker, also
   qualify easily, as do deliberately obfuscated languages such as