Tech moves fast! Stay ahead of the curve with Techopedia!
Join nearly 200,000 subscribers who receive actionable tech insights from Techopedia.
The phrase “PC load letter” is a printer error message on some mostly obsolete types of HP laserjet printers. Here, “PC” stands for “paper cassette” and the error indicates that no letter-sized paper is available for a print job with a letter size. The error message is instructing the user to load a letter-sized paper into the printer.
After its common use in the 1999 film "Office Space", the phrase “PC load letter” became somewhat of a meme when talking about frustrating, vague or confusing error messages and technological malfunctions.
“PC load letter?” says David Herman's character Michael Bolton, struggling with an office printer. “What the [expletive] does that mean?” A scene later in the film reveals the hapless office worker and his two friends performing a kind of mafia-style mock execution on the printer in question. As the film became a cult classic, “PC load letter” became a kind of shorthand not only for frustrations with technology, but also for the ensuing aggression and rage that can result.