The other afternoon I was watching the Mozy automated backup program on my computer run. Clearly, there wasn't any paint drying in the vicinity. During the backup process, a dialog popped up that gave the status of the backup, informing me that it was 20% done with cataloging the files, compressing them, and so on. At one point, it kindly informed me it was in the process of "reticulating splines".
This woke me out of my stupor. "Reticulating splines" sounded vaguely mathematical, but not really. What the heck did it mean? I looked it up. Turns out, it's a nonsense phrase possibly originated by the developers of SimCity 2000.
I'm pretty sure I played SimCity 2000 at some point. I might even have a CD for it lying around somewhere. But this was the first time I had seen this phrase. I was a new victim of "the missed nerd meme syndrome".
Thanks to the room filled with shouting people we call "the internet", nerd memes are coined with alarming speed. It's assumed that if you consider yourself a nerd worth your salt, you were virtually present for every meme created in the last 10 years. A co-worker recently had to shamefully admit that he had not heard of the phrase "All your base are belong to us". We were forced to revoke his geek card, although he can re-apply in 2-5 years.
So, it's with some remorse that I have to admit I have no prior knowledge of the whole "reticulating splines" movement. I will be turning myself in at the local nerd 502 office later today.