Sometimes a computer just gets balky and glitchy and needs a do-over – hitting restart can shake whatever temporary demon is creating difficulty out of the programming.  Well, a day or a meeting or your brain can be glitchy too – you know what I’m talking about.


Glitch (


  1. a defect or malfunction in a machine or plan.

2. Computers. any error, malfunction, or problem. Compare bug1 ( def 5 ) .

  1. a brief or sudden interruption or surge in voltage in an electriccircuit.

verb (used with object)

  1. to cause a glitch in: an accident that glitched our plans.


I like what has to say about the word origin:


1962, Amer.Eng., possibly from Yiddish glitsh “a slip,” from glitshn “to slip,” from Ger. glitschen, and

related gleiten “to glide.” Perhaps directly from Ger.; it began as technical jargon in the argot of electronic hardware engineers, popularized and given a broader meaning by U.S. space program.


Glitch sounds like what it is – something that tripped up what was supposed to happen.


If a computer can purge a glitch by restarting (sometimes several times), how do we humans get a do-over when we have glitchy moments?  Ah, not so simple.

photo credit: Wikipedia

photo credit: Wikipedia


A big game, a player gets the ball and becomes confused and heads the wrong way – a glitch for sure – he or she can’t take it back.  Teammates, the coach and fans are furious.  A very public oops moment.  The player can only go forward and learn to take the ribbing every time that moment comes up again.


Computers don’t have to worry about the embarrassment factor.  If the computer that holds your most important presentation decides not to get going just when your presentation is due to start the computer won’t feel stupid or inadequate.


Humor helps in these moments, for humans not computers.  (Though I hear that Siri has a sense of humor.)  Shared laughter can get us past the glitch, ease any tension.  Sometimes it’s the closest thing we have to a restart.


Here’s hoping for a glitch free day.  Human and machine.


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