Lost in the noise



Synonym lost in the underflow. This term is from signal processing, where signals of very small amplitude cannot be separated from low-intensity noise in the system. Though popular among hackers, it is not confined to hackerdom; physicists, engineers, astronomers, and statisticians all use it.
[Jargon File]

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  • Lost in the shuffle

    Failing to stand out among others, as in In that huge economics class Jane’s afraid she’ll get lost in the shuffle. This metaphoric term alludes to mixing playing cards before dealing them. [ c. 1900 ]

  • Lost in the underflow

    jargon Too small to be worth considering; more specifically, small beyond the limits of accuracy or measurement. This is a reference to “floating point underflow”. The Hacker’s Jargon File claimed that it is also a pun on “undertow” (a kind of fast, cold current that sometimes runs just offshore and can be dangerous to swimmers). […]



  • Lost in thought

    Concentrating on or pondering over something. For example, Gwen didn’t hear a word you said; she was lost in thought.

  • Lost-motion

    noun, Machinery. 1. motion of a machine or mechanism, especially a reciprocating one, during which no useful work is performed. 2. motion between parts in an assembly due to manufacturing tolerances, adjustments, slip, or wear.



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