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A broken record

Topics/tags: Language, short

A few weeks ago, I put down some notes for a musing about the benefits of the MathLAN Web servers. In listing the topics and tags for the musing, I included the phrase broken record, because Grinnell’s Web failures are a topic I rant about much too much.

Then I realized that broken record may not have the same meaning to my readers that it has to me. To many, broken record refers to things like the number of three-point shots made in a Division III College Basketball game [1] or the plaques from the Osgood Natatorium that get auctioned off during Alumni Swim and Dive Weekend [2]. That is, a broken record is a record that has been surpassed.

I suppose that yet another musing on the same topic is a form of that type of broken record; I’ve surpassed the number of times I’ve mused about that topic.

But that’s not the kind of broken record I mean. Back in the days of vinyl records, a disc might get a scratch [3]. When the needle encountered the scratch, it would often skip back to the same place, making the record play the same short piece again and again and again. Hence, at the time I grew up, the term broken record was more frequently used to mean annoyingly repetitive. And, well, even I feel that my rants about the Web server are annoyingly repetitive [4].

[1] A record that the Pioneers broke recently.

[2] I’m never sure of the name. Part of my brain thinks that they call it Alumni Swum and Dove Weekend.

[3] Or, if treated particularly poorly, a crack.

[4] Upon further reflection, I note that I do say some new, different, and important things in that recent musing. But part of it still feels like a broken record.

Version 1.0 of 2018-11-29.