What it’s all about

During Nicky’s skating lessons this morning, they played the “Hokey Pokey”, and it brought back a memory of me getting confused with the lyrics when I was a kid. I was as pedantic then about the English language as I am now.

According to the lyrics, here’s how the dance goes:

  1. You put your in
  2. You put your out
  3. You put your in
  4. You shake it all about
  5. You do the hokey pokey
  6. You turn yourself about
  7. Revel in the fact that you now know what it’s all about

But look at #5. “Do the hokey pokey”. I thought the whole thing was the hokey pokey. How can you do the hokey pokey as part of doing the hokey pokey? Is this a recursive dance? Can’t be — there’s no way to end the recursion. Us computer scientists would be dancing forever until we dropped dead of starvation or exhaustion, and not only would none of us would ever get to the “turning yourself about” part, but we’d never know what it was all about.


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