ANSWERS: 22
  • Catch-22 This phrase, meaning a situation where one bureaucratic regulation is dependent on another, which in turn is dependent on the first, derives from the 1961 novel of the same name by Joseph Heller: Excerpt: Yossarian looked at him soberly and tried another approach. "Is Orr crazy?" "He sure is," Doc Daneeka said. "Can you ground him?" "I sure can. But first he has to ask me to. That's part of the rule." "Then why doesn't he ask you to?" "Because he's crazy," Doc Daneeka said. "He has to be crazy to keep flying combat missions after all the close calls he's had. Sure, I can ground Orr. But first he has to ask me to." "That's all he has to do to be grounded?" "That's all. Let him ask me." "And then you can ground him?" Yossarian asked. "No. Then I can't ground him." "You mean there's a catch?" "Sure there's a catch," Doc Daneeka replied. "Catch-22. Anyone who wants to get out of combat duty isn't really crazy." There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle. "That's some catch, that Catch-22," he observed. "It's the best there is," Doc Daneeka agreed. End Excerpt Heller originally titled his novel Catch-18, but at the request of his publisher changed it. Leon Uris had just published Mila-18 and the publisher did not want confusion between the two books. Reference Link: http://www.wordorigins.org/wordorc.htm
  • Catch 22 is a popular book made into a movie of the same name. Basically it's a way the army used to stop soldiers from getting out of the army based on mental instability grounds. The first part of the rule/catch is that: The army does not enlist persons that are mentally insatiable. The second part of the catch is: Therefore you can not be granted a discharge from the army based solely on mental instability. Catch 22 is a rather cynical look at the army during the latter years of the war in the pacific. I don't know if it has any relevance to today‚Äôs army, but the phrase basically means "a no win" situation"
  • The phrase has come to mean essentially they say you are allowed to do something, but if you want to you may not, making the provision usless. If I remember correctly Catch 22 is not quite what the other answer portrays... I recall, having read the book, that the only sure way to get out of the war uninjured was a discharge for insanity. If you really were insane, you would not file the paperwork for the section 8 (if I remember right) discharge, since you'd be mentally incompetent. If you really did want to get out and go home, it was adequate proof that you were sane enough not to qualify for the discharge. So catch-22 boils down to approximately: there is a provision to do something, but only if you don't want to.
  • Catch 22 was a novel by Joseph Heller. It described a situation where, in WWII, you could be excluded from combat if you were crazy. However, the very process of wanting to leave combat proved that you were sane, therefore you had to keep fighting. The phrase has been adopted to describe a no-win situation often caused by crazy rules/laws that contradict themselves or each other. Another Catch-22 would be when you want to get a better job, but you don't have enough education; so you want to get more education, but you need money to do it, so you need to get a better job. It's a circular paradox that is difficult to solve.
  • A "Catch 22 situation" is one in which: no matter which way you go, there is an undesired result or outcome. A perfect example, would be that to find out about an afterlife, you would need to die. Therefore, you either cannot find out, or you have to die to find out. The term Catch 22 comes from the title of a book by Joseph Heller. It was an interesting (although not easy) read. I definitely recommend it.
  • In Joseph Heller's book Catch 22, a World War II bomber pilot named Yossarian tries to get himself declared insane so he can stop flying bombing missions. Unfortunately, there is a regulation called Catch-22, stating that if you want out of combat duty you aren't crazy. Heller wrote, "[A pilot] would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want to he was sane and had to."
  • simply: you can but you can't you could but you couldn't
  • The phrase comes from Joseph Heller’s WWII novel, Catch-22. “There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle. "That's some catch, that Catch-22," Yossarian observed. "It's the best there is," Doc Daneeka agreed. Resulting from its specific use in the book, the phrase "Catch-22" is common idiomatic usage meaning "a no-win situation" or "a double bind" of any type. Within the book, "Catch-22" is a military rule, the self-contradictory circular logic that, for example, prevents anyone from avoiding combat missions.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catch-22
  • One of my all-time favourite books, Jos Heller wrote in the '60's! A real hoot! It sorta means situationally trapped. ;-)
  • From the movie and book by the same name.
  • Among other things, Catch-22 is a general critique of bureaucratic operation and reasoning. Resulting from its specific use in the book, the phrase "Catch-22" is common idiomatic usage meaning "a no-win situation" or "a double bind" of any type. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catch_22
  • Not a clue! I know what it means but not more. Kind of like darned if you do and darned if you don't
  • no win situation
  • from the novel Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
  • 1) "Catch-22 is a satirical, historical novel by the American author Joseph Heller, first published in 1961. The novel, set during the later stages of World War II from 1943 onwards, is frequently cited as one of the great literary works of the twentieth century." "Among other things, Catch-22 is a general critique of bureaucratic operation and reasoning. Resulting from its specific use in the book, the phrase "Catch-22" is common idiomatic usage meaning "a no-win situation" or "a double bind" of any type. Within the book, "Catch-22" is a military rule, the self-contradictory circular logic that, for example, prevents anyone from avoiding combat missions. In Heller's own words: There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle. "That's some catch, that Catch-22," Yossarian observed. "It's the best there is," Doc Daneeka agreed. Other forms of Catch-22 are invoked throughout the novel to justify various bureaucratic actions. At one point, victims of harassment by military police quote the MPs as having explained one of Catch-22's provisions so: Catch-22 states that agents enforcing Catch-22 need not prove that Catch-22 actually contains whatever provision the accused violator is accused of violating. An old woman explains: Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can’t stop them from doing. This nightmare of a bureaucracy crushing the individual with absurdity is similar to the world of Kafka's 'Trial', and Orwell's '1984', the concept of 'doublethink' having definite echoes in Heller's work. Yossarian comes to realize that Catch-22 does not actually exist, but because the powers that be claim it does, and the world believes it does, it nevertheless has potent effects. Indeed, because it does not exist there is no way it can be repealed, undone, overthrown, or denounced. The combination of brute force with specious legalistic justification is one of the book's primary motifs." Source and further information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catch-22 Further information: http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=Catch-22&searchmode=none 2) "Catch-22 is a term coined by Joseph Heller in his novel Catch-22, describing a set of rules, regulations or procedures, or situation which presents the illusion of choice while preventing any real choice. In probability theory, it refers to a situation in which multiple probabilistic events exist, and the desirable outcome results from the confluence of these events, but there is zero probability of this happening, as they are mutually exclusive." "The prototypical Catch-22, as formulated by Heller, involves the case of John Yossarian, a U.S. Army Air Forces bombardier, who wishes to be excused from combat flight duty. In order to be excused, he must submit an official medical diagnosis from his squadron's flight surgeon, demonstrating that he is unfit to fly because he is insane. In order to get the diagnosis, he must approach the surgeon to ask for one. However, “catch 22” — the twenty-second of the guidelines used by military surgeons to “catch” those falsely claiming to be insane — is that an insane person should not believe or suspect that they are insane. Thus, to be recognised as insane, a person must not ask for an evaluation, because doing so implicitly shows that they suspect themselves to be insane. But, if a person does not ask for an evaluation, they cannot be recognised as insane because the evaluation is the method by which such recognition would occur. Thus, nobody can ever classify themselves as insane (even if they genuinely are), and thus nobody may ever use an insanity diagnosis to escape flying combat missions, ignoring the possibility of someone else recommending an evaluation for a peer." Source and further information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catch-22_(logic%29 3) "The phrase "Catch-22" comes from the book of that name by Joseph Heller (1923-1999), published in 1961. Catch-22 is a wonderful book, full of dark humor and absurdity, satirizing war, military bureaucracy, and by extension modern life and the ways in which they destroy the human spirit. The word "catch" of course is used in the sense of snare, snag or entanglement. The story is set in Italy in World War II. The main character, Captain Yossarian, is a bombardier (as Heller had been) who wants to get out of flying potentially deadly combat missions. So does his tent-mate, Orr. The easiest way to get out of flying more missions is to plead insanity. Heller writes: There was only one catch, and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and he would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn't have to, but if he didn't want to, he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle. "That's some catch, that Catch-22," he observed. "It's the best there is," Doc Daneeka agreed. In short, Catch-22 is "heads I win, tails you lose." If you can, you can't, and if you can't, you can. Fair is foul and foul is fair. Whenever you try to behave sensibly in a crazy world, there's a catch. Heller writes: Yossarian strode away, cursing Catch-22 vehemently even though he knew there was no such thing. Catch-22 did not exist, he was positive of that, but it made no difference. What did matter was that everyone thought it existed, and that was much worse, for there was no object or text to ridicule or refute, to accuse, criticize, attack, amend, hate, revile, spit at, rip to shreds, trample upon, or burn up. In fact, Heller originally wanted to name his dilemma Catch-18, but a book by Leon Uris called Mila 18, historical fiction about the Warsaw ghetto uprising during WWII, had just been published, and the publishers were afraid there would be confusion. (Mila 18 was a street address.) So, there really isn't a Catch-22, despite its pervasiveness--and that's an example of the catch, of course. Circular dilemmas of this sort appear over and over in the book. Sometimes the Catch is mentioned explicitly, more often not." Source and further information: http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2093/whats-the-origin-of-catch-22
  • a book title i never read.
    • RareCatch
      Excellent Nov09
  • Catch-22 A no-win dilemma or paradox, similar to damned if I do, damned if I don't. For example, You can't get a job without experience, but you can't get experience unless you have a job--it's Catch-22. The term gained currency as the title of a 1961 war novel by Joseph Heller, who referred to an Air Force rule whereby a pilot continuing to fly combat missions without asking for relief is regarded as insane, but is considered sane enough to continue flying if he does make such a request. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • Catch-22 A no-win dilemma or paradox, similar to damned if I do, damned if I don't. For example, You can't get a job without experience, but you can't get experience unless you have a job--it's Catch-22. The term gained currency as the title of a 1961 war novel by Joseph Heller, who referred to an Air Force rule whereby a pilot continuing to fly combat missions without asking for relief is regarded as insane, but is considered sane enough to continue flying if he does make such a request. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • The novel of the same name by Joseph Heller.
  • It was from the movie Catch-22. Now means no win situation.
  • It was first used in the novel Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. It was a military rule that illustrates what we now think of as circular logic. Actually it's very hard to explain if you haven't read the book. I highly reccommend it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catch-22
  • Thank you for sharing the origin. I understand the "catch" because you're "caught" in a dilema, but does anyone know the significance of the number 22? Also, I don't really understand how that situation would be considered a catch 22 since if someone did not want to fly all they needed to do was keep quiet which would indicate they had no objection to flying and were in fact "crazy" which would result in them being grounded.

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