They’re not passing it on, they’re not voting for anyone, they’re wasting their PR like so much pregnant chad!!!

I encounter the above from here. I have looked up the dictionary but find it confusing:

a chad that has been punched or dimpled but all four corners are still attached

How can a chad get pregnant? And how does it relate to the context in my case?

And I have tried to find its image.

  • 4
    +1 for chad I am blown away that the "small bit of paper which has been cut out by a puncher", actually has a name. – Mari-Lou A Oct 20 '16 at 7:07
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    @Mari-LouA I learned this in a silly factoid book in 1996, in a list of "words for things you didn't know had names," and started using it all the time because it was so cool. Then it got spoiled in 2000, when "chad" became a mainstream word due to the election recount process. – hunter Oct 20 '16 at 9:40
  • The word chad is supposedly a backform from Chadless, the name of the manufacturer of a machine that made holes without such debris. – Anton Sherwood Oct 21 '16 at 0:44
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    Phrases like pregnant chad, slightly pregnant chad, aborted chad etc may all be readily understood in the United States, but are mind-boggling entities for non - Americans and therefore - may I respectfully suggest - should only be used in a regional context and not where readers are unlikely to be familiar with such usage – tom Oct 26 '16 at 3:55

This is a jocular use of metaphor drawn from voting with punchcards. The 'chad' on a punchcard is the little oblong of partially cut-out paper which the punching device is supposed to detach from the card. If the voter doesn't punch hard enough or cleanly enough, the chad is not completely detached. The different sorts of attachment have nicknames:

chad Source:ABC News, reproduced here

A 'pregnant chad' is so called because it is still attached at all four corners but puffs out like a pregnant woman's belly.

'Hanging chad', 'dimpled chad', 'pregnant chad' and the others entered US popular discourse in the controversy over the 2000 presidential election, when the decisive and very close vote in Florida was determined in part by the decision that votes with incompletely detached chads were invalid and should not be counted.

It's a very appropriate metaphor in this article because the author treats PageRank (PR) as an 'election':

PageRank is a “vote”, by all the other pages on the Web, about how important a page is. A link to a page counts as a vote of support.

A 'wasted vote' is metaphorically equivalent to a 'pregnant chad'.

  • If anyone is curious, there is a photo of a pregnant chad (and a lot of explanation of terminology and potential mechanism) in this article—Figure 7. I was interested to note that it also uses chad as the plural for chad, which accords with the OP's quote. – 1006a Oct 20 '16 at 15:14

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