Practical example:

In order to get a job you need experience. To have experience you need to get a job.

What is the right term to call this?


The English term you're looking for is Catch-22.

It comes from the title of the 1961 novel Catch-22, by Joseph Heller.

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  • Good. Never expected it to contain numbers. It makes me doubt about the usage in a sentence. "Catch-22 is that I need experience in order to get a job, but..." - doesn't feel correct. Is it? – Alph.Dev Oct 3 '13 at 19:45
  • "The fact that I need experience to get a job, but need a job to get experience, is a cache-22" – ike Oct 3 '13 at 19:46
  • @user85686 That's what internships are all about. – bib Oct 3 '13 at 22:02
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    @Alph.Dev the sentence you presented may be grammatically correct, but it sounds off to this native American English speaker. Instead I would have said "The catch-22 is that I need experience in order to get a job." – Lumberjack Oct 4 '13 at 1:38
  • @Lumberjack Thank you for pointing that out. As English is neither my primary nor secondary language, I just don't know how it sounds. – Alph.Dev Oct 4 '13 at 18:16

Also circular dependency or chicken-and-egg problem or (temporal) paradox.

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