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What does this mean? "Catch 22"

6 years ago

Do you know what the term "catch 22" means?

A "catch 22" situation is a paradoxical situation where you might find yourself, such as let's say, this: When you first graduate from college and apply for a job, it is hard to get a job because you have no experience. But you have no experience because you can't get a job!

In Spain they call this "la pescadilla que se muerde la cola" ("a fish biting its own tail").

Where does this come from?

The term "catch 22" gained currency as the title of a 1961 war novel by Joseph Heller, who referred to an Air Force rule whereby a pilot continuing to fly combat missions without asking for relief is regarded as insane, but is considered sane enough to continue flying if he does make such a request.

Can you think of any instance where this expression would fit?

Tell your "catch 22" story!