catch-22
6 years ago No Comments

(pronounced kech-twen-tee-TU)

If you were born after 1975, there is a good chance that you don’t know exactly what this word means. Or, at least, where it came from. So let us enlighten you. It comes from the 1961 Joseph Heller novel of the same name (which happened to be made into a movie with a stellar cast in 1970). Anyway, a catch-22 is an unreasonable, illogical situation or policy that ends up either having the opposite effect of what is intended or results in two equally undesirable alternatives for the decision maker, usually because each outcome binds, hinders, or harms him or her in some way. Huh? It’s best understood via example…

Example: Interior design grads face a catch-22 every year: they have trouble getting a job without experience, and they can’t get experience without a job.