A glitch is a short-lived in a system, such as a transient fault that corrects itself, making it difficult to troubleshoot. The term is particularly common in the and industries, in , as well as among players of s. More generally, all types of systems including human s and nature experience glitches. A glitch, which is slight and often temporary, differs from a more serious which is a genuine functionality-breaking problem. Alex Pieschel, writing for ''Arcade Review'', said: bug' is often cast as the weightier and more blameworthy pejorative, while 'glitch' suggests something more mysterious and unknowable inflicted by surprise inputs or stuff outside the realm of code."


Some reference books, including ''Random House's American Slang'', claim that the term comes from the word ''glitschen'' ("to slip") and the word ''glitshn'' ("to slide or skid"). Either way, it is a relatively new term. It was first widely defined for the American people by on the June 20, 1965 episode of ' as "a kink... when anything goes wrong down there ape Kennedy they say there's been a slight glitch." Astronaut explained the term in his section of the book ''Into Orbit,'' writing that
Another term we adopted to describe some of our problems was "glitch." Literally, a glitch is a spike or change in voltage in an electrical circuit which takes place when the circuit suddenly has a new load put on it. You have probably noticed a dimming of lights in your home when you turn a switch or start the dryer or the television set. Normally, these changes in voltage are protected by fuses. A glitch, however, is such a minute change in voltage that no fuse could protect against it.quoted in Ben Zimmer, "The Hidden History of Glitch," visualthesarus.com
John Daily further defined the word on the July 4, 1965, episode of the same show, saying that it's a term used by the Air Force at Cape Kennedy, in the process of launching rockets, "it means something's gone wrong and you can't figure out what it is so you call it a 'glitch'." Later, on July 23, 1965, ' felt it necessary to define it in an article: "Glitches—a spaceman's word for irritating disturbances." In relation to the reference by ''Time Magazine'', the term has been believed to enter common usage during the American of the 1950s, where it was used to describe minor faults in the rocket hardware that were difficult to pinpoint. According to a Wall Street Journal article written by Ben Zimmer, Yale law librarian Fred Shapiro came up with the new earliest use of the word yet found: May 19, 1940. That was when the novelist Katharine Brush wrote about ''glitch'' in her column "Out of My Mind" (syndicated in the ''Washington Post'', the ''Boston Globe'', and other papers). Brush corroborated Tony Randall's radio recollection:
When the radio talkers make a little mistake in diction they call it a "fluff," and when they make a bad one they call it a "glitch," and I love it.
Other examples from the world of radio can be found in the 1940s. The April 11, 1943 issue of the ''Washington Post'' carried a review of Helen Sioussat's book about radio broadcasting, ''Mikes Don't Bite''. The reviewer noted an error and wrote, "In the lingo of radio, has Miss Sioussat pulled a 'muff,' 'fluff,' 'bust,' or 'glitch'?" And in a 1948 book called ''The Advertising and Business Side of Radio'', Ned Midgley explained how a radio station's "traffic department" was responsible for properly scheduling items in a broadcast. "Usually most 'glitches,' as on-the-air mistakes are called, can be traced to a mistake on the part of the traffic department," Midgley wrote. Further digging reveals that in the 1950s, ''glitch'' made the transition from radio to television. In a 1953 ad in ''Broadcasting Magazine'', RCA boasted that their TV camera has "no more a-c power line 'glitches' (horizontal-bar interference)." And Bell Telephone ran an ad in a 1955 issue of ''Billboard'' showing two technicians monitoring the TV signals that were broadcast on Bell System lines: "When he talks of 'glitch' with a fellow technician, he means a low frequency interference which appears as a narrow horizontal bar moving vertically through the picture." A 1959 article in ''Sponsor'', a trade magazine for television and radio advertisers, gave another technical usage in an article about editing TV commercials by splicing tape. "'Glitch' is slang for the 'momentary jiggle' that occurs at the editing point if the sync pulses don't match exactly in the splice." It also provided one of the earliest etymologies of the word, noting that, "'Glitch' probably comes from a German or Yiddish word meaning a slide, a glide or a slip."

Electronics glitch

An glitch or is a transition that occurs on a signal before the signal settles to its intended value, particularly in a . Generally, this implies an electrical pulse of short duration, often due to a between two signals derived from a common source but with different delays. In some cases, such as a well-timed , this could be a harmless and well-tolerated effect that occurs normally in a design. In other contexts, a glitch can represent an undesirable result of a fault or design error that can produce a malfunction. Some electronic components, such as s, are triggered by a pulse that must not be shorter than a specified minimum duration in order to function correctly; a pulse shorter than the specified minimum may be called a glitch. A related concept is the , a pulse whose amplitude is smaller than the minimum level specified for correct operation, and a , a short pulse similar to a glitch but often caused by or .

Computer glitch

A computer glitch is the failure of a system, usually containing a computing device, to complete its functions or to perform them properly. In public declarations, glitch is used to suggest a minor fault which will soon be rectified and is therefore used as a for a , which is a factual statement that a programming fault is to blame for a system failure. It frequently refers to an error which is not detected at the time it occurs but shows up later in data errors or incorrect human decisions. Situations which are frequently called computer glitches are incorrectly written software (s), incorrect instructions given by the operator (, and a failure to account for this possibility might also be considered a software bug), undetected invalid input data (this might also be considered a software bug), undetected communications errors, es, and computer (sometimes called "hacking"). Such glitches could produce problems such as keyboard malfunction, number key failures, screen abnormalities (turned left, right or upside-down), random program malfunctions, and abnormal program registering. Examples of computer glitches causing disruption include an unexpected shutdown of a plant in New Canaan, 2010, failures in the system used by the police in Austin, resulting in unresponded 911 calls, and an unexpected causing the spacecraft to enter "safe mode" in November 2010. Glitches can also be costly: in 2015, a bank was unable to raise interest rates for weeks resulting in losses of more than a million dollars per day.

Video game glitches

Glitches/bugs are software errors that can cause drastic problems within the code, and typically go unnoticed or unsolved during the production of said software. These errors can be game caused or otherwise exploited until a developer/development team repairs them with patches. Complex software is rarely bug-free or otherwise free from errors upon first release. There are different kinds of glitches, which can affect different aspects of a game: *Texture/model glitches are a kind of bug or other error that causes any specific model or texture to either become distorted or otherwise to not look as intended by the developers. 's ' is notorious for texture glitches, as well as other errors that affect many of the company's popular titles. Many games that use for their character models can have such glitches happen to them. *Physics glitches are errors in a game's engine that causes a specific entity, be it a physics object or a , to be unintentionally moved to some degree. These kinds of errors can be exploited, unlike many. The chance of a physics error happening can either be entirely random or accidentally caused, such as a bug in the notoriously developed that can launch the player character a significant distance when coming into contact with a particular crate in a particular way. *Sound glitches prevent sounds from playing properly in some way. These can range from sounds playing when not intended to play or even not playing at all. Occasionally, a certain sound will loop or otherwise the player will be given the option to continuously play the sound when not intended. Often, games will play sounds ''incorrectly'' due to corrupt data altering the values predefined in the code. Examples include, but are not limited to, extremely high or low pitched sounds, volume being mute or too high to understand, and also rarely even playing in reverse order/playing reversed. Glitches such as from the ' games may include incorrectly displayed graphics, errors, game freezes/crashes, sound errors, and other issues. Graphical glitches are especially notorious in platforming games, where malformed textures can directly affect gameplay (for example, by displaying a ground texture where the code calls for an area that should damage the character, or by ''not'' displaying a wall texture where there should be one, resulting in an ). Some glitches are potentially dangerous to the game's stored data. "" is the practice of players exploiting faults in a video game's programming to achieve tasks that give them an unfair advantage in the game, over NPC's or other players, such as running through walls or defying the game's physics. Glitches can be deliberately induced in certain home video game consoles by manipulating the game medium, such as tilting a to disconnect one or more connections along the and interrupt part of the flow of data between the cartridge and the console. This can result in graphic, music, or gameplay errors. Doing this, however, carries the risk of crashing the game or even causing permanent damage to the game medium. Heavy use of glitches are often used in performing a of a video game. One type of glitch often used for speedrunning is a , which is referred to as "overflowing." Another type of speedrunning glitch, which is almost impossible to do by humans and is mostly made use of in tool assisted speedruns, is which will cause an object in a game to do something outside of its intended function. Part of the process (as performed by s for s) is locating and reproducing glitches, and then compiling reports on the glitches to be fed back to the programmers so that they can repair the bugs. Certain games have a cloud-type system for updates to the software that can be used to repair coding faults and other errors in the games. Some games purposely include effects that look like glitches as a means to and either scare the player or put the player at unease, or otherwise as part of the game's narrative. Games like ' and ' include segments with intentional glitches where it appears that the player's game system has failed. The Animus interface in the ' series, which allows the player-character to experience the memories of an ancestor though their generic heritage, includes occasional glitches as to enforce the idea that the game is what the player-character is witnessing through a computer-aided system. Five Nights at Freddys: Help Wanted for mobile has 'glitches' that you need to tap on to unlock a minigame. Glitches can also be found in electronic toys. For example, in 2013, released a game called Bop It Beats. It was discovered by several players that the DJ Expert and Lights Only modes have a bug that will give players a fail sound upon reaching a pattern with six actions and completing them successfully. The more difficult DJ modes can be completed in the Party mode as long as there is a "Pass It" on the last few patterns. Hasbro was informed about this glitch but as it was discovered after manufacture, they can no longer update or upgrade existing units. Foreign versions of the game, however, were shipped with this glitch already patched. Glitches in games should not be confused with . Despite them both performing unintended actions, an exploit is not a programming error, but instead an oversight by the developers. (e.g. , repeatedly mashing a jump button to bypass movement limitations in the 2006 ''Sonic the Hedgehog'' reboot or taking advantage of opponents during in online multiplayer games)

Television glitch

In broadcasting, a corrupted signal may glitch in the form of jagged lines on the screen, misplaced squares, static looking effects, freezing problems, or inverted colors. The glitches may affect the video and/or audio (usually audio dropout) or the transmission. These glitches may be caused by a variety of issues, interference from portable electronics or microwaves, damaged cables at the broadcasting center, or weather.

In popular culture

Multiple works of popular culture deal with glitches; those with the word "glitch" or derivations thereof are detailed in . *The nonfiction book ''CB Bible'' (1976) includes glitch in its glossary of slang, defining it as "an indefinable technical defect in CB equipment", indicating the term was already then in use on citizens band. *The short film ''The Glitch'' (2008), opening film and best science fiction finalist at Independent Film Festival 2008, deals with the disorientation of late-night TV viewer Harry Owen (Scott Charles Blamphin), who experiences 'heavy brain-splitting digital breakdowns.'

See also

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{{Authority control Computer errors