Erroneous means containing errors. I wanted to say about files that generate errors in a computer program, so I posted on a public mailing list: errogenous files. Could it be better? By better I don't mean more amusing.

Maybe the construct I used is correct, but unfortunate. Is it? Actually you won't find any "errogenous files" on the net except those of mine :)

The program scans files, and the files in question contain characters which trigger error messages in the scanning program.

  • 3
    One word? I cannot think of any. Error-triggering files would be my suggestion
    – mplungjan
    Apr 13 '12 at 8:31
  • Those are two words connected by a hyphen. Might as well say error-generating then...
    – MarioDS
    Apr 13 '12 at 9:59
  • 2
    "Problem files" is one term I've seen used. I wouldn't say they generate the errors though, they demonstrate the existence of errors in the code.
    – Wudang
    Apr 13 '12 at 10:37
  • Problem files, sounds good. And error-triggering too.
    – Jarek
    Apr 13 '12 at 18:22

Oh, goodness, no, don't use errogenous. For one, it's not a word. For another, even if you wanted to invent a term, your candidate would be a homophone of erogenous, and I don't think that's what you want to convey.

I'd recommend a hyphenated term: something like error-generating files.


I've used the term problematic files (or more generally, problematic input/data) in similar cases. Terms like edge case, unexpected input or random input are somewhat related but stray from the meaning you're looking for.

  • This might work, depending on the context. If the O.P. is alluding to real-world files that cause problems, then I'm in hearty agreement. If the O.P. is alluding to deliberately-constructed diabolical files used for testing, however, not so much. (It was hard to tell which, from the limited contextual information provided, until the recent edit.)
    – J.R.
    Apr 13 '12 at 17:49

The files aren't producing errors--the program is. A few word suggestions: "mishandled files," "test cases," "bug reproducers," or "minimal examples" (if the files are edited down).

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