Word Fact: Catch-22

Ever wonder where the phrase “Catch-22″ came from?  For example: You can’t get a job without experience, but you can’t get experience without a job”  That type of exasperating situation is often referred to as a “Catch-22”.  The phrase dates back to 1961 when it was used as the title of a Joseph Heller novel.  In the novel, the main character tries to avoid duty on a bomber crew in World War II.  To do so, he feigns insanity.  However, because it is insane to expose yourself to such danger, he is judged to be sane and is ordered to fly.  Hence our use of the phrase to describe similar situations.