Adventures in Asia

by Greg & Francie

Off by One

‘Off by one’ is typically a term used by computer programmers to describe a small mistake that keeps a computer program from working properly (former colleagues: remember you must always write for your audience). So, a programmer may have entered a ‘0’ when they should have entered a ‘1’ and stuff is just broken.

Well, Francie and I have been using this term a lot in our travels (despite the fact that we are really psychologists and not programmers). For instance, maybe we will meet a traveler who you can’t have a normal conversation with and we will comment that they were ‘off by one’.

We mostly use the term to describe food. Lots and lots of places have pizza but usually something is ‘off’ that keeps it from tasting like something from home…it is weird bread and not crust or that the cheese tastes like butter and not…you know, cheese.

Our most recent ‘off by one’ experience is this Colgate toothpaste that turned out to be green tea flavored. It is pretty gross and ‘off by one’.



August 20, 2007 - Posted by | China, Travel


  1. That toothpaste sounds almost as bad as the musk flavored gum my sister bought in New Zealand.

    Comment by David | August 20, 2007 | Reply

  2. What are the sparkly things? Looks like glitter!

    Comment by jolifanta | August 20, 2007 | Reply

  3. Instead of off by one, the toothpaste in your picture should be two in one. One may not need to have tea after brushing teeth with it! 🙂

    Comment by G. Chai | August 20, 2007 | Reply

  4. I can’t imagine wanting to put glitter *on* your teeth. Bleech!!! Have fun in your travels!

    Comment by charleen | August 20, 2007 | Reply

  5. Beware of chinese toothpaste. Maybe you can’t avoid it. It has just been recalled this year. Something about lead in the toothpaste I believe.

    Comment by kelly and the boys | August 20, 2007 | Reply

  6. That toothpaste looks like off by a dozen. :-). Do these glitters stick on your teeth, should be funny to see.

    Comment by Jimmy | August 21, 2007 | Reply

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