error

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comedy of errors

A situation or series of events characterized by a number of humorous or ridiculous mix-ups, mishaps, or blunders. Taken from one of Shakespeare's early comedies, The Comedy of Errors. Their business was a comedy of errors by the end, with orders constantly being confused, employees arriving at the wrong time, and the financial accounts being all over the place. The story is a delightful comedy of errors, in which every sort of mistake and confusion that can arise does—with everything working out just fine in the end, of course.
See also: comedy, error, of

schoolboy error

A very simple, basic, or fundamental mistake or error. Primarily heard in UK. Thanks to a schoolboy error by their opponents' keeper, the football club will advance to the next round of the tourney. The math textbook had to be reprinted after several schoolboy errors were discovered in some of the equations.
See also: error, schoolboy

in error

Mistakenly or by accident. My apologies, I sent you that document in error. So I just found out that the doctor's office called me in error—I'm so relieved!
See also: error

see the error of (one's) ways

To realize that one has been wrong and/or has behaved poorly. I'm afraid it took me too long to see the error of my ways. But it's not too late for you. He'll never see the error of his ways if he keeps being rewarded for the bad decisions he's made.
See also: error, of, see, way

by trial and error

Describing a method by which one makes attempts towards some goal and then learns from one's failures and adjusts accordingly. Rather than doing things by trial and error, you should really read the manual before trying to fix your car's engine.
See also: and, error, trial

the error of (one's) ways

What has been wrong, hurtful, or unfair about one's behavior or way of life. He'll never see the error of his ways if he keeps being rewarded for the bad decisions he's made. I'm afraid it took me too long to realize the error of my ways. But it's not too late for you.
See also: error, of, way

rounding error

a large amount of money that is relatively small in comparison to a much larger sum. To a large company like Smith & Co., a few thousand dollars is just a rounding error. It's not a lot at all.
See also: error, round

trial and error

trying repeatedly for success. I finally found the right key after lots of trial and error. Sometimes trial and error is the only way to get something done.
See also: and, error, trial

comedy of errors

A complex or humorous series of events, as in Mary and John went to the Smiths', while the Smiths went to the Parkers', and the Parkers wondered why no one answered the door at John and Mary's-a true comedy of errors . The term borrows the title of Shakespeare's play, The Comedy of Errors, about two sets of twin brothers, master and slave, who are separated in infancy, and the mix-ups occurring when they arrive in the same place many years later. [c. 1600]
See also: comedy, error, of

fall into

1. Enter or engage in, be drawn into, as in I told Dad not to fall into conversation with them. [Late 1400s]
2. See fall in, def. 1.
3. Be naturally divisible into, as in These students fall into three categories. [First half of 1600s]
4. fall into error or sin . Be drawn into bad behavior, as in I fell into error when I started spending time with the wrong crowd. This usage, like fall from grace, originally alluded to religious concerns. It is now used less often and more loosely. [Late 1100s]
5. fall into a trap. Be deceived, unknowingly become involved in something. For example, By admitting I had free time, I fell into the trap of having to help him with his work . Also see under fall in; fall in line; fall in place.
See also: fall

trial and error

An attempt to accomplish something by trying various means until the correct one is found. for example, The only way to solve this problem is by trial and error. The error here alludes to the failed means or attempts, which are discarded until the right way is found. [c. 1800]
See also: and, error, trial

see the error of your ways

COMMON If you see the error of your ways, you realise that you have behaved badly and start to understand how you can do better. I wanted an opportunity to talk some sense into him and try to make him see the error of his ways. Note: You can also say that you realise the error of your ways. It took him a long time, he says, to realise the error of his ways. Note: You can also point out or show someone the error of their ways. He only responded when his players pointed out the error of his ways. But I firmly believe that many of these conservatives can be shown the error of their ways.
See also: error, of, see, way

trial and error

the process of experimenting with various methods of doing something until you find the most successful.
See also: and, error, trial

the ˌerror of your ˈways

(formal or humorous) what is wrong and should be changed about the kind of life you are leading: While he was in prison, a social worker visited him in an attempt to make him see the error of his ways.
See also: error, of, way

by ˌtrial and ˈerror

trying different ways of doing something until you find the right one: I didn’t know how to use the camera at first, so I had to learn by trial and error.
See also: and, error, trial

fall into

v.
1. To descend or drop freely or effortlessly into something: I was so tired that I went to my bedroom and fell into bed.
2. To come to assume a configuration, pattern, or order: The lines of text fell into neat rows. After a quick meeting, our plans fell into place.
3. To come upon, receive, or become involved with something, especially by chance: They fell into a lot of money unexpectedly, so they bought a new car.
4. To undergo a change of state or emotion, especially a negative change: I took one look at my class schedule and fell into a bad mood. The tenants complained when the apartment building fell into disrepair.
See also: fall

comedy of errors

A ludicrous event or sequence of events: The candidate's campaign turned out to be a political comedy of errors.
See also: comedy, error, of
References in periodicals archive ?
3%) nurses had experienced medical errors due to some communication error.
Results: According to the results of the study; the vast majority of medical errors (40.
So it is perhaps unsurprising that this little book of conceptual analysis on the nature of error, comprised of ninety-eight short pages plus endnotes, draws heavily on his previous output.
Each page included 41 questions that collected data on such items as sleep, mood, caffeine intake, work hours, drowsiness, overtime, as well as questions regarding errors and near errors.
A direct and individualized method is to examine student correct performance relative to the number of errors during exposure to the problem situation (e.
In Korn, the Court of Claims agreed that the taxpayer had not properly accounted for its inventory by omitting certain costs, yet reasoned that such omissions were "inadvertent" and similar to mathematical or posting errors, and were not a change in accounting method.
Accelerating the process can help companies identify and correct errors before they file their SEC reports.
The consultants found that 92 percent of the companies they surveyed had accounting errors--and that 75 percent had errors that could be considered "significant.
In most cases health care professionals involved in errors are sincerely making their best efforts to provide excellent care.
Even with vast armies of staff diligently checking and rechecking spreadsheets to catch the elusive errors, it's a virtual certainty that some will be missed, resulting in a multitude of problems that might include stiff penalties, lawsuits, tumbling share value, loss of investor confidence, damaged reputations, adverse press coverage and ruined careers.
Overall, 119 nurses (30%) reported making at least one error, and 127 (33%) reported at least one near error, for a total of 199 errors and 213 near errors during the study period.
The rigid body 21 errors include three each of the following errors: linear displacement, vertical straightness, horizontal straightness, roll angular, pitch angular, yaw angular, and squareness.
Longitudinal errors in placement of the servo pattern generate false position information during drive servo operation.
Religious tolerance is at issue in the treatment of doctrinal errors (chap.
2003) have shown that the estimated standard errors produced by S-Plus can systematically underestimate the true variability of fitted linear parameters in semiparametric GAMs.