Hello everybody. Your forum is good and I’m sure somebody will be able to tell me the origin of the term catch 22? I understand this describes a very tricky situation with no sign of a solution by why is it 22 and not 23?
The phrase is taken from the book, the title of which is the same: Catch-22, by Joseph Heller.
Heller coined the phrase to indicate a fictional military regulation which is a cyclical conundrum, or no-win situation.
I’m not allowed to write here as a student because teachers can answer only. I suppose that the 22 is the diameter of a barrel of a gun. I sometimes meet an abbreviation .22. And I think this is it. If I’m wrong, correct me please.
You are certainly welcome to respond here, Simon. You are right that .22 is a caliber, a measurement of the diameter of a gun barrel-- but it is a very small caliber, not used in military weaponry, so it is inappropriate for this anti-war novel.
I don’t think that Heller had any particular meaning in mind-- I think he just chose an arbitrary number. Here is a quote from Wikipedia:
A magazine excerpt from the novel was originally published as “Catch-18,” but Heller changed the title after another World War II novel, Leon Uris’s “Mila 18”, was published.