A triple is a term from mathematics, depicting an n-tuple with n being 3. This means it depicts three elements, with the order of the elements carrying meaning (unlike a set, where the order of the elements is meaningless and where no element could exist more than once). Derived from this abstract meaning it is used in several other contexts.
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Triples in Humor
A triple is a joke consisting of three statements. The first two statements are similar and establish a pattern while the third statement does not follow the pattern.
John was a quiet gentleman who liked to:
- work in the garden
- read literary works
- go on killing sprees from rooftops with his sniper rifle
Obviously, the third violent activity does not follow the first two benign ones. This may be found humorous.
Other examples include lists, of names for example, where the third is in contrast with the previous two.
"It's one thing to see death coming at the hands of your own creation. Oedipus and his father. Baron Frankenstein and his monster. William Henry Gates and Windows '09."
David Brin, Kiln People
The triple is not necessarialy limited to three items. A longer list of four or five items could be considered a triple as well.
Triples in Music
Triples in RDF
In RDF a triple is a subject-predicate-object expression.