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I am (almost) certain that "spaghetti salad" is a phrase. But, I cannot find any references to this phrase in the oracle of Google.

Can someone please confirm that they have at least heard this phrase?
And, please state the meaning and etymology?
If someone can find this via Google, please show me the regular expression to use.

my understanding
def = "a collection of data that has no organization"
ety = "statistics. As datapoint (one strand of spaghetti) moves across the x-axis, it bounces randomly up/down on the y-axis. A "salad" would be a collection of such randomly moving strands of spaghetti."

Am I am losing my mind? Google is AWOL on this, right? They can't index everything.

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Spaghetti code? –  Elliott Frisch Apr 29 at 3:33

3 Answers 3

up vote 0 down vote accepted

You might have been thinking about Spaghetti Model or Spaghetti data? If you click this google books link you'll find a range of books containing maybe what you think.

https://www.google.com/search?q=%22spaghetti%20data%22&tbs=bks:1&lr=lang_en

There are books from 1994 up to 2010 so while it doesn't seem to a popular term, it has been around for at least 20 years and is still in use. Also search for 'Spaghetti Model', that seems to be focused on weather patterns.

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Now, I am almost certain that "spaghetti salad" was a phrase used only by one or two of my statistics professors. It was never used more widely than that. thank you. –  shinmai_psb Apr 29 at 17:03

The ONLY spaghetti salad I ever heard about is a pasta recipe. Therefore, spaghetti salad is a noun.

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Yes. I am also saying "spaghetti salad" is a noun: "a collection of unorganized data". Well, I'm now thinking "spaghetti salad" is a specialized phrase used in statistics. There is no chance I just made it up. –  shinmai_psb Apr 29 at 3:08

Your meaning of "spaghetti salad" is part of what a linguist would call a sociolect (and we common people would call a slang word). Similar cases for example is that a very specific group of IT people I know calls a set of very intertwined and unordered cables "pasta mista". Though this is usually not enough to make it common. Unless this group of people gets bigger and bigger and starts using it in written word. Then they might coin a new term that google and maybe eventually even dictionaries recognise.

Beside that, the way the spaghetti salad descriptive term found it's way into your sociolect is called an euphemism. Something like saying "collateral damage" for, well, what it actually means.

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I am convinced that phrase was only used by one or two of my statistics professors. That I dislike it so much is probably why I still remember it. Likening a stochastic process to spaghetti really annoys me... –  shinmai_psb Apr 29 at 17:09

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