Claim: Japanese software replaces Microsoft error messages with haiku poetry.
Example: [Collected via e-mail, 1998]
In Japan, they have replaced the impersonal and unhelpful Microsoft Error messages with Haiku poetry messages. Haiku poetry has strict construction rules. Each poem has only three lines, 17 syllables: five syllables in the
first line, seven in the second, five in the third.
Haikus are used to communicate a timeless message often achieving a wistful, yearning and powerful insight through extreme
“haiku error message” list is another example of a concept which began purely as a bit of creative fun, but has since been stripped of the context explaining its origins and is now proffered as a “true” piece of information.
This list has probably spread so widely not just as a humor piece but as a “real” article because the world of computers is still a deep, dark mystery to many (lots of people use PCs regularly but have no idea how the machines work, and they therefore believe just about any computer-related information coming from a seemingly authoritative source), and because the list so neatly plays into the western view of the Japanese as a poetic and fatalistic people.
The haiku list was the work of many creative minds, but they were mostly American minds, and the entries were intended simply to bring about a few chuckles. The clever messages were prompted by a
Something you entered Readers are invited to submit up to three error messages written as haiku poems. The haiku is a three-line poem in the 5/7/5 form (first line 5 syllables, second line 7, third line 5).
The world of high-tech has been called
So much is unknown.
Something you entered
Readers are invited to submit up to three error messages written as haiku poems. The haiku is a three-line poem in the 5/7/5 form (first line 5 syllables, second line 7, third line 5).
Salon ultimately received over 200 entries, from which they selected two winners and thirty other efforts worthy of honorable mention. The list now circulating is drawn largely from those entries as published by Salon, although different versions drop some of the original items and include entries from other sources.
Last updated: 3 April 2007