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Mention generics to anyone who knows much about them and they'll usually have an opinion on type reification and erasure. For the uninitiated, erasure is where a List of Strings (or a List parameterised by the String type) "forgets" that it has been parameterised by the String type once it has been compiled – ie. the type parameter is erased. Reification is the opposite, the type is remembered, or reified. Different platforms have different strategies for their generics implementations.