Denotation vs. Connotation

bad thing

bad thing in Technology

(From the 1930 Sellar & Yeatman parody "1066 And All That") Something that can't possibly result in improvement of the subject. This term is always capitalised, as in "Replacing all of the 9600-baud modems with bicycle couriers would be a Bad Thing".
Opposite: Good Thing.
British correspondents confirm that Bad Thing and Good Thing (and probably therefore Right Thing and Wrong Thing) come from the book referenced in the etymology, which discusses rulers who were Good Kings but Bad Things. This has apparently created a mainstream idiom on the British side of the pond.
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Examples from the Web for bad thing
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Historical Examples
  • I should not change, and listen, Hector—it would be a bad thing if I did!

    More About Peggy Mrs G. de Horne Vaizey
  • Urquhart was a rich man, and to know that his lawyer was rich was no bad thing.

    Love and Lucy Maurice Henry Hewlett
  • That was a bad thing for the Albemarle, for she never went out again.

  • "What's-the-use;" that's a bad thing to say, it plants worry seed.

    Evening Round Up William Crosbie Hunter
  • "Well, it isn't a bad thing, some of it," I went on with pride and content.

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