[Ads-l] Grace Murray Hopper Honored by Yale

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Feb 12 19:16:22 EST 2017


Am I right in recalling that Hopper was making a pun, based on having trapped an actual bug and referencing the already widely used (among programmers) term “bug” = ‘glitch in a program’?

LH


> On Feb 12, 2017, at 6:28 PM, Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU> wrote:
> 
> I was the first to really question the Hopper/moth myth, in several articles beginning in the 1980s.  The definitive citations are given by Peggy Kidwell in an article in the IEEE Annals of the History of Computing.  I believe she traced "debugging" back to 1944.
> 
> Fred Shapiro
> 
> 
> ________________________________
> From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of James A. Landau <JJJRLandau at NETSCAPE.COM>
> Sent: Sunday, February 12, 2017 6:16 PM
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> Subject: Re: Grace Murray Hopper Honored by Yale
> 
> On Sun, 12 Feb 2017 03:40:52 Zone + 0000 "Shapiro, Fred" <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU> wrote:
> 
> 
> 
> <quote>
> 
> <snip>  But I am curious whether Hopper's principal claim to popular fame, the colorful but wholly erroneous claim that she coined the term "bug" for defects in computer hardware or software, will be repeated by the media or Yale in connection with the naming.
> 
> </quote>
> 
> 
> 
> The log entry (see https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.wired.com_2013_12_googles-2Ddoodle-2Dhonors-2Dgrace-2Dhopper-2Dand-2Dentomology_&d=CwIGaQ&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=NvsW-OhBbzxE92nK31T2wnmV21_Bx7bPCKzIsk5T4FQ&m=hyxZT5RC9uRyTcJTjcZdt0eZnwydk9AhUkflybrd_E8&s=ZZShkZv4cSEiZhOpWfRHxmdAzhMU02QRkDSyhSzS4Xw&e= )
> [https://www.wired.com/wp-content/uploads/images_blogs/wiredscience/2013/12/grace-hoppers-107th-birthday-5447077240766464.4-hp.gif]<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.wired.com_2013_12_googles-2Ddoodle-2Dhonors-2Dgrace-2Dhopper-2Dand-2Dentomology_&d=CwIGaQ&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=NvsW-OhBbzxE92nK31T2wnmV21_Bx7bPCKzIsk5T4FQ&m=hyxZT5RC9uRyTcJTjcZdt0eZnwydk9AhUkflybrd_E8&s=ZZShkZv4cSEiZhOpWfRHxmdAzhMU02QRkDSyhSzS4Xw&e=>
> 
> Google Honors Grace Hopper…and a “bug”<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.wired.com_2013_12_googles-2Ddoodle-2Dhonors-2Dgrace-2Dhopper-2Dand-2Dentomology_&d=CwIGaQ&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=NvsW-OhBbzxE92nK31T2wnmV21_Bx7bPCKzIsk5T4FQ&m=hyxZT5RC9uRyTcJTjcZdt0eZnwydk9AhUkflybrd_E8&s=ZZShkZv4cSEiZhOpWfRHxmdAzhMU02QRkDSyhSzS4Xw&e=>
> urldefense.proofpoint.com
> The December 9th, 2013 Google Doodle Honors Grace Hopper's 107th Birthday...and has an entomological surprise at the end!
> 
> 
> 
> reads “First actual case of bug being found”.
> 
> 
> 
> This strongly implies (if not proves) that the term "bug" for a technical problem was already in existence and widely known, and that this was the first actual case of a actual biological bug (in this case a moth) causing such a bug.
> 
> 
> 
> The above-quoted website also suggests that the term "debugging" was invented around this time, if not by Dr. Hopper.  Anyone have data?
> 
> 
> 
> - Jim Landau
> 
> 
> 
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