[Ads-l] RTFM

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Fri Nov 6 17:08:18 UTC 2015


The Wikipedia article for RTFM contains a claim about a pertinent 1979
citation. The assertion is well defined and appears to be checkable.
The Wikipedia article also contains an odd "citation needed" claim
about RTFM the 1950s.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RTFM

[Begin excerpt]
The initialism appeared in print in 1979 on the table of contents page
of the LINPACK User's Guide [2] in the form R.T.F.M." -- Anonymous,
suggesting that it was already well established.

[2] Dongarra, J. J., C. B. Moler, J. R. Bunch, and G. W. Stewart.
LINPACK User's Guide. Philadelphia: SIAM, 1979. ISBN 0-89871-172-X.
[End excerpt]


On Fri, Nov 6, 2015 at 11:00 AM, Jesse Sheidlower <jester at panix.com> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Jesse Sheidlower <jester at PANIX.COM>
> Subject:      Re: RTFM
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> There's a 1983 example in _The F-Word_ from a computer discussion group on Usenet.
>
> Jesse Sheidlower
>
> On Fri, Nov 06, 2015 at 10:46:07AM -0500, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>> Another website avers that this popular acronym for "Read The $*^^%!!
>> Manual" was in use in the late '40s.
>>
>> GB offers nothing before 1990, and I didn't encounter it till  maybe 2001.
>>
>> Can anybody recall it from before 1990?
>>
>> JL
>> --
>> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
>>
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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