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As the developer is clever he knows that in his particular situation the exception will never be thrown, so he just inserts an empty catch block. He even puts a nice comment in the empty catch block - but they are famous last words... The problem with this is: how can he be sure?

What does it means?

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closed as general reference by simchona, Robusto, Mitch, Mahnax, RegDwigнt Feb 27 '12 at 12:03

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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Did you try to Google this? –  simchona Feb 27 '12 at 2:33
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@simchona Yes, and the most relevant result is a song by "My Chemical Romance".... –  lamwaiman1988 Feb 27 '12 at 2:51
    
When Google fails to help you, try OneLook. Instead of searching the entire web for a term or phrase, it searches online dictionaries. When I typed famous last word into OneLook, it returned a link to a really nice reference that explained the idiom rather nicely. –  J.R. Feb 27 '12 at 9:32
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1 Answer

up vote 3 down vote accepted

This site defines famous last words as

This expression is used as a way of showing disbelief, rejection or self-deprecation. "They said we had no chance of winning- famous last words!"

And I think it's fair to say that's how it's often used. More literally, Cambridge online defines it as

said when someone makes a definite statement which is shown very soon, and in an embarrassing way, to be wrong. "I told him categorically that we could never be anything more than friends. Famous last words! Within a few months we were engaged."

It's interesting to consider one of the most famous last words of all - the Antarctic explorer Captain Lawrence Oates saying:

"I am just going outside and may be some time"

where Oates clearly knew as he said this that he was being at best misleading, since he did not intend to return (his body was never found). But it does carry one common aspect of the idiomatic famous last words - things often go badly for the person said to have uttered them. Sometimes "go badly" just means something as trivial as being proved to be absurdly, exaggeratedly wrong. But often the bad consequences can be far, far worse.

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