General Science, Mathematics, and Technology


How did the term “glitch” originate?

A glitch is a sudden interruption or fracture in a chain of events, such as in commands to a processor. The stability may or may not be salvageable. The word is thought to have evolved from the German glitschen, meaning “to slip,” or by the Yiddish glitshen, to slide or skid.

One small glitch can lead to a cascade of failure along a network. For instance, in 1997 a small Internet service provider in Virginia unintentionally provided incorrect router (a router is the method by which the network determines the next location for information) information to a backbone operator (a backbone is a major network thoroughfare in which local and regional networks patch into for lengthy interconnections). Because many other Internet service providers rely on the backbone providers, the error echoed around the globe, causing temporary network failures.


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