Does not compute

Gareth Branwyn garethb2 at EARTHLINK.NET
Sat Sep 15 18:01:18 UTC 2001

I believe it was also used on Irwin Allen's "Lost in Space" (1965),
along with "Affirmative!," "Warning! Warning!," and of course, "Danger,
Will Robinson."

Jesse Sheidlower wrote:
> On Sat, Sep 15, 2001 at 10:58:16AM -0400, Douglas G. Wilson wrote:
> > The odd 'ergative' declaration "[Expression X] does not compute" (spoken by
> > a computer) must have appeared in some old "Star Trek" program or some old
> > science-fiction movie, I guess. I suppose it means roughly "[Expression X]
> > cannot be parsed" or "[Expression X] is invalid". It is now used like "...
> > doesn't make sense" or so, I think.
> >
> > Is there any information on the origin of this clumsy declaration?
> The Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang says that
> it was introduced as a catchphrase by the television show _My Living
> Doll_ in 1964.
> Jesse Sheidlower

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