Dot-com backlash/meltdown terms

Jesse Sheidlower jester at PANIX.COM
Tue Jul 31 15:53:52 UTC 2001

> All I can say is that the usage goes way back.  The use of periods to
> separate the portions of a file name (and later of a URL) antedates the UNIX
> operating system on which the Internet is laregely based.  IBM's OS/360
> operating system of 1965 (or maybe a few years earlier; I am citing a manual
> copyrighted 1965) used periods in quantity in file names, and I don't doubt
> that earlier operating systems also used periods.

OED has released a draft entry for this as one of the high-profile out of
sequence new words. The earliest we could find specifically using the
_word_ "dot" to represent the "." esp. as dividing network addresses, etc.
was 1981 (in RFC780). Certainly the use of the "." for this or similar
purposes is much older.

I would, needless to say, welcome an earlier example of the word "dot"
for this symbol.

Jesse Sheidlower

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