[Ads-l] software (and lunatic fringe)

Stephen Goranson goranson at DUKE.EDU
Fri Feb 19 06:54:21 EST 2021

Words, of course, can take on different and largely unrelated meanings. For example, Teddy Roosevelt in 1913 must have heard the popular collocation "lunatic fringe" even though it meant banged hair since the 1870s, as Fred Shapiro detailed on this list.

Another such case (of a prior use in mind) may well be our current software, whether the computer use was coined in 1952 by John Wilder Tukey or by Paul Niquette in 1953 or on some other date by some other coiner.

Long ago someone distinguished thus:
Two other departments, called the "software" and the "hardware" are very important.
Namely, Charles Dickens.


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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