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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

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 ?
Other areas that are very useful include her discussions of errorless teaching and her recommendations for building independence in self-care skills.
An example of a compensatory intervention for schizophrenic patients with cognitive deficits is errorless learning.
played the work place at an errorless slow tempo two times in a row; Comments: YES/NO 2.
An investigation of errorless learning in memory-impaired patients: Improving the technique and clarifying theory.
Another technique used to improve disruptive behavior in children with DD is errorless compliance training.
The group receiving three lessons were substantially more likely to be able to demonstrate errorless condom use using the Measure of Observed Condom Use Skills than those in the one-session group and those in the control group.
The best of these chapters discuss understanding behavior, earning instructional control, discrete trial teaching, using motivation to teach, Skinner's behavioral classification of language, errorless learning, toilet training, VB teaching procedures and the ethics of ABA.
Hart's Spencer Moniz was 2 for 2 with an RBI, a run and a stolen base, and he also had two putouts at second base, as Hart played errorless defense.
We know that usual errorless reconstruction formulas depend only on the power support in the canonical sampling problem.
The Ems' pitchers also were helped by two double plays and errorless defense.
The softball team played an errorless game, but lost 6-2 to Leominster in its season opener.
But the performance was smoothed over, as Hart pounded out 13 hits, including two home runs, while taking advantage of five errors and playing errorless defense.
Ceragon's unique embedded space diversity with dual receiver architecture, extremely high transmit power and IF combining algorithm guarantee superior performance and errorless transmission.
To gain the greatest possible share of the Network, the Aberdeen study reports that HP worked to create a seamless sales process providing accurate product information, errorless order processing, timely order status information and accurate billing, allowing HP to make its operations more efficient by providing a single technical connection to serve all its Ariba-based customers.
The Red Sox went into the night with a 10-game errorless streak in postseason play.
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