Chad Research

Fred Shapiro fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Tue Nov 21 22:04:04 UTC 2000

For those of you who are eagerly awaiting more findings in the Great Chad
Quest, I have checked the original source of the 1947 Merriam-Webster
citation.  The context does not, alas, shed any further light on the
etymological question.  The one thing I glean from examining the original
article in the RCA Review is that the milieu of this earliest known usage
is not computers, but rather radiotelegraphy.  (The second oldest source,
the 1959 cite in the OED Addition Series, is also from a telegraphy

I also looked for other articles mentioning "chad" in the RCA Review and
other engineering journals from the late 1940s, but found nothing.

Fred Shapiro

Fred R. Shapiro                             Editor
Associate Librarian for Public Services     YALE DICTIONARY OF QUOTATIONS
  and Lecturer in Legal Research            Yale University Press,
Yale Law School                             forthcoming
e-mail: fred.shapiro at     

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