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META

<language> The assembly language for the CYBER 200, developed at CDC ca 1977.

[CDC Pub 60256020].

[Jargon File]

(1994-11-16)

meta

<philosophy> /me't*/ or /may't*/ or (Commonwealth) /mee't*/ A prefix meaning one level of description higher. If X is some concept then meta-X is data about, or processes operating on, X.

For example, a metasyntax is syntax for specifying syntax, metalanguage is a language used to discuss language, meta-data is data about data, and meta-reasoning is reasoning about reasoning.

This is difficult to explain briefly, but much hacker humour turns on deliberate confusion between meta-levels.

[Jargon File]

(1999-04-06)


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