Computer Proverbs

Mark A. Mandel Mark_Mandel at DRAGONSYS.COM
Wed Jan 17 17:59:43 UTC 2001

"James A. Landau" <JJJRLandau at AOL.COM> writes [irritating MIME artefacts

big-endian versus little endian:
a term picked up from Gulliver's Travels.
Describes whether numbers are stored in a computer high-end first or low-end
first (a headache in certain types of programming)

I have seen these terms as "big Indian" and "little Indian", presumably
thanks to people who heard them with no idea of where they came from or the
details of what they referred to. Pfaugh!

Yes, yes, dInIs et al., prenasal raising could have been involved. But I
don't recall that there was any reason or need to invoke it when simple
ignorance sufficed.

BTW, I would not call this (and some other terms James cites) a proverb,
but rather a term, an expression, a piece of jargon, a specialized lexical

-- Mark A. Mandel

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