Contents page

Index (83KB)


mumble: interj. 1. Said when the correct response is too
   complicated to enunciate, or the speaker has not thought it out.
   Often prefaces a longer answer, or indicates a general reluctance
   to get into a long discussion.  "Don't you think that we could
   improve LISP performance by using a hybrid reference-count
   transaction garbage collector, if the cache is big enough and there
   are some extra cache bits for the microcode to use?"  "Well,
   mumble ... I'll have to think about it."  2. [MIT] Expression
   of not-quite-articulated agreement, often used as an informal vote
   of consensus in a meeting: "So, shall we dike out the COBOL
   emulation?"  "Mumble!"  3. Sometimes used as an expression of
   disagreement (distinguished from sense 2 by tone of voice and other
   cues).  "I think we should buy a VAX."  "Mumble!"  Common
   variant: `mumble frotz' (see frotz; interestingly, one does
   not say `mumble frobnitz' even though `frotz' is short for
   `frobnitz').  4. Yet another metasyntactic variable, like
   foo.  5. When used as a question ("Mumble?") means "I
   didn't understand you".  6. Sometimes used in `public' contexts
   on-line as a placefiller for things one is barred from giving
   details about.  For example, a poster with pre-released hardware in
   his machine might say "Yup, my machine now has an extra 16M of
   memory, thanks to the card I'm testing for Mumbleco." 7. A
   conversational wild card used to designate something one doesn't
   want to bother spelling out, but which can be glarked from
   context.  Compare blurgle.  8. [XEROX PARC] A colloquialism
   used to suggest that further discussion would be fruitless.