Another WOTY candidate: hanging chads

Mark A. Mandel Mark_Mandel at DRAGONSYS.COM
Mon Nov 13 20:52:36 UTC 2000

Arnold Zwicky <zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU> writes:
fascinating.  here in california i've seen "chad" used only
as a mass noun.  so it would have to be "hanging bits/pieces of chad".

Ah! Another county heard from!

The first formal programming course I took was in 1971 at Hunter College in
NYC. The language was FORTRAN and the medium was punch cards. The little
rectangular bits that were punched out were called "chad", as a mass noun.
Like Arnold, I haven't heard it as a count noun till the current brouhaha.

This memory came up when I heard count "chad". Late last week I heard a
song on the radio as recorded, way back, by Chad and Jeremy. And as our
synagogue choir rehearsed a new setting of the Shema, I kept getting mental
interference seeing the transliterated Hebrew words syllabified under the

          A-  do-  nai   eh--     chad

-- Mark A. Mandel
Some days it's not even worth...

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