sorcerer's apprentice mode: n. [from Goethe's "Der
Zauberlehrling" via Paul Dukas's "L'apprenti sorcier" the film
"Fantasia"] A bug in a protocol where, under some circumstances, the
receipt of a message causes multiple messages to be sent, each of
which, when received, triggers the same bug. Used esp. of such
behavior caused by bounce message loops in email software.
Compare broadcast storm, network meltdown, software laser,