Catch-22

(redirected from catch 22's)

Catch-22

1. A problem, task, situation, or course of action in which the outcome or solution one desires is especially difficult or impossible to achieve due to contradictory, illogical, or paradoxical rules, regulations, or conditions. The term comes from the title of the 1961 novel by Joseph Heller, in which a fighter pilot attempts to avoid further combat missions under a statute stating that any pilot who willingly continues to fly missions is insane. However, he is thwarted by the pronouncement that if a pilot requests to stop flying, he proves his sanity by showing a concern for his own safety. The company's cost-reduction plan is a Catch-22—they need to lay off half the staff to keep the company open, but with so few people, we won't be able to complete all the work that's needed to earn enough revenue.
2. Any illogical, contradictory, or paradoxical rule or regulation, especially one that makes a desired outcome or solution impossible. The bank's overdraft policy is a Catch-22 for those trying to get out of poverty, as it charges you higher fees for having less money in your account.

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.

a Catch 22

A Catch 22 is an extremely frustrating situation in which one thing cannot happen until another thing has happened, but the other thing cannot happen until the first thing has happened. There's a Catch 22 in social work. You need experience to get work and you need work to get experience. Note: You can also talk about a Catch 22 situation. It's a Catch 22 situation here. Nobody wants to support you until you're successful but without the support, how can you ever be successful? Note: This expression comes from the novel `Catch 22' (1961), by the American author Joseph Heller, which is about bomber pilots in the Second World War. Their `Catch 22' situation was that any sane person would ask if they could stop flying. However, the authorities would only allow people to stop flying if they were insane.
See also: 22, catch

a catch-22 situation

a dilemma or difficulty from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions.
The classic statement of this situation is in Joseph Heller 's novel Catch-22 ( 1961 ), from which the expression is taken: ‘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.’
1997 New Scientist It's a catch-22 situation: you cannot get the job without having the relevant experience and you cannot get the experience without having first done the job.
See also: situation

(a) catch-22

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a catch-22 situation

(informal) a difficult situation from which there is no escape because you need to do one thing before doing a second, and you cannot do the second thing before doing the first: I can’t get a job because I haven’t got any experience, but I can’t get experience until I get a job — it’s a catch-22 situation. Catch-22 is the title of a novel by Joseph Heller, in which the main character pretends to be crazy in order to avoid dangerous situations in war. The authorities say that he cannot be crazy if he is concerned about his own safety.

catch-22

n. a directive that is impossible to obey without violating some other, equally important, directive. There was nothing I could do. It was a classic catch-22.
References in periodicals archive ?
Catch 22's popular monthly gigs bring a mix of familiar TV faces and the best comics on the circuit to Stockton every month - but it's the new acts that get the chance to shine at Beat the Gong.
Always a big hit with Catch 22's Stockton crowd, it's easy to see why special guest MC Ray Peacock is the telly warm-up man of choice for the likes of Frank Skinner, Graham Norton and Jonathan Ross.
The dog days of January are always made miles better by looking forward to Catch 22's brand new season, and this year is looking good already," said Ten Feet Tall's Peter Vincent.
SPOT some comedy gold of tomorrow, tonight, at Catch 22's Beat the Gong at Stockton's ARC.
Friday, December 14 Catch 22's second fantastic Christmas special stars Phil Nichol, Raymond & Mr Timpkins Review and MC Jason.
Hapless hospital radio DJ Ivan Brackenbury brings his own brand of humour straight to Catch 22's bedside.
Catch 22's line-up includes Junior Simpson who is a major part of The Comedy Store''s legendary Cutting Edge Team - and once popped up as a DJ in the Richard Curtis/Hugh Grant blockbuster Love Actually.
Comedy Store regular MATT REED is Catch 22's MC at ARC on Friday, March 26; with JOHN WARBURTON taking on job at Hartlepool's Town Hall Theatre on the Saturday.