Tuesday, August 23, 2011

“42” correction

Douglas Adam, in his Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, said that the ultimate answer to the ultimate question (about life, the universe and everything — which was lost in the night of time) was fourty-two (42). We know now that, due to an unfortunate human error in the calibration system that built the computer that pondered the question for 7 1/2 million years, “Deep Thought” — the computer in question — was made dyslexic and the answer he gave was misspelled.

In order to discover the real answer, we've put together a commission of fourty scholars and scientists (actually, they were fourty-two, but two died before the report was finished and the commission members were thereafter known, for obvious reasons, as the fourty-dudes) to study the linguistic of the computer answer. After fourty-two years, they concluded that the original answer was meant to be “fortitude” — which the Merriam-Web_ster defines as “strength of mind that enables a person — or civilization — to encounter danger or bear pain or adversity with courage.”

So, admitting that the ultimate question was “what's the meaning of life” as it is largely accepted — although many scholars maintain that the question was purely mathematical — the answer should now be something like “grin and bear it, it will be over soon” or “the human spirit shall overcome”!

Now you have it. I always wanted to correct that.

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