[Ads-l] Grace Murray Hopper Honored by Yale

Shapiro, Fred fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Sun Feb 12 22:06:12 EST 2017


I posted on ADS-L about the moth myth in 1997 and 2014.  My debunking of the Hopper legend has gotten far more traction than most etymythological corrections, having been disseminated by the New York Times, the Jargon File, and many other media.


Fred Shapiro


________________________________
From: James A. Landau <JJJRLandau at netscape.com>
Sent: Sunday, February 12, 2017 8:44 PM
To: ADS Listserv
Cc: Shapiro, Fred
Subject: Re: Grace Murray Hopper Honored by Yale

On Sunday, 12 Feb 2017 at 23:28:58 Zone + 0000 "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.



I included the argument that the logbook entry required the prior existence of the term "bug" because, to the best of my recollection, nobody ever used that argument in the ADS-L list.



As for a pre-Hopper usage of "debugging":



   https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__bancroft.berkeley.edu_Exhibits_physics_images_bigscience25.jpg&d=CwIGaQ&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=NvsW-OhBbzxE92nK31T2wnmV21_Bx7bPCKzIsk5T4FQ&m=637AtbPFvwRhWPc7fgswTOCG1cFgNhAq0ZfjXYbXHIo&s=rN19EY20SOWbquVv7yzweHxAyuoVctD5lP-aqIZPcI4&e=



gives a photocopy of a letter dated October 27, 1944 which includes the text:



"It was clear from your plans, and also from the reports from the visitors that all personnel that you now have is occupied in getting into operation and debugging, and certainly we must all regard this as the wisest use that can by made of our men."



I found this document by following footnote 2 of the Wikipedia article "Debugging" at https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__en.wikipedia.org_wiki_Debugging&d=CwIGaQ&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=NvsW-OhBbzxE92nK31T2wnmV21_Bx7bPCKzIsk5T4FQ&m=637AtbPFvwRhWPc7fgswTOCG1cFgNhAq0ZfjXYbXHIo&s=1RAaylW2UmHtYnX1on9AZ3Jy6_S2G7S53HXOcW8hfzU&e=
[https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8a/H96566k.jpg]<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__en.wikipedia.org_wiki_Debugging&d=CwIGaQ&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=NvsW-OhBbzxE92nK31T2wnmV21_Bx7bPCKzIsk5T4FQ&m=637AtbPFvwRhWPc7fgswTOCG1cFgNhAq0ZfjXYbXHIo&s=1RAaylW2UmHtYnX1on9AZ3Jy6_S2G7S53HXOcW8hfzU&e=>

Debugging - Wikipedia<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__en.wikipedia.org_wiki_Debugging&d=CwIGaQ&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=NvsW-OhBbzxE92nK31T2wnmV21_Bx7bPCKzIsk5T4FQ&m=637AtbPFvwRhWPc7fgswTOCG1cFgNhAq0ZfjXYbXHIo&s=1RAaylW2UmHtYnX1on9AZ3Jy6_S2G7S53HXOcW8hfzU&e=>
urldefense.proofpoint.com





This may be the 1944 usage in the Peggy Kidwell article mentioned above, which is available to those with access to IEEE Digital Library at

   https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__ieeexplore.ieee.org_document_728224_-3Freload-3Dtrue-26tp-3D-26arnumber-3D728224-26isnumber-3D15706&d=CwIGaQ&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=NvsW-OhBbzxE92nK31T2wnmV21_Bx7bPCKzIsk5T4FQ&m=637AtbPFvwRhWPc7fgswTOCG1cFgNhAq0ZfjXYbXHIo&s=7TAQvSzma5C0x2ZhadzK-j_75RcOMlB5ARMPzgwATYM&e=



- Jim Landau







________________________________

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!



[https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.wired.com_wp-2Dcontent_uploads_images-5Fblogs_wiredscience_2013_12_grace-2Dhoppers-2D107th-2Dbirthday-2D5447077240766464.4-2Dhp.gif&d=CwIGaQ&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=NvsW-OhBbzxE92nK31T2wnmV21_Bx7bPCKzIsk5T4FQ&m=637AtbPFvwRhWPc7fgswTOCG1cFgNhAq0ZfjXYbXHIo&s=HpxrEz9ApTqZ8t7-4U-6CPMS9Uv8lr-zkbo8pr43P6g&e= ]<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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