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

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

see the error of your/its ways

(slightly formal)
to accept that you have been wrong about something What can we do to make Tim see the error of his ways? The industry needs to see the error of its ways and adopt these new safety standards.
See also: error, of, see, way

see the error of your ways

to understand that you have been behaving badly and to decide to improve your behaviour It's the story of a corrupt policeman who finally sees the error of his ways.
See also: error, of, see, way

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

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 ?
Body diagonal displacement errors are sensitive to all the volumetric error components and, therefore, make an efficient test of volumetric accuracy.
The net effect of CPF was to increase the error rate significantly in males (Figure 4A) but to cause a decrease in females that was at the margin of significance (Figure 4B).
Correct loop tuning plays an important part in commissioning a stable PID controller with close to zero error at all times.
It is also not clear that error is really an important theme in the dialogues and dialectical works of chapter 5.
Improper dose was the most common type of error (29%), followed by failure to administer an ordered dose (24%).
The most common cause of a medication error was performance deficit--when a health care provider has the necessary knowledge and experience but does not perform accordingly; this occurred 38% of the time.
frequency of intercourse and frequency of condom use) and a range of potential errors and problems related to condom use.
In a well-designed statistical sample, the sampling error is as small as we need it to be.
In particular, the research examined the nature of the errors that result from nonrandom quantization errors in an instrument's time-base circuit.
11-Procedures For Resolving Errors, under 11(a) Definition of Error, paragraph 2.
For the Z-axis, the maximum vertical straightness error (deviation in the x-direction) is 0.
For a fixed amount of frame spacing error, the resulting error in computation of vertical position y is dependent on location within the pattern.
Oddly, no one seems to be thinking about what the medical error epidemic means for health policy.
Cory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology used the simplest form of quantum error correction--a three-bit code--to find and fix errors in the qubit blend of Os and 1s.
Sliding the coin along the scale will give you some idea of the effect of measurement error on your product acceptance decisions, and demonstrate your risk of not knowing the capability of your measurement system.