Number Crunching

Bill Lemay blemay0 at MCHSI.COM
Fri Dec 17 19:40:49 UTC 2004

> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Erik Hoover <grinchy at GRINCHY.COM>

> It strikes me on reading this that there is a less-strained metaphor if
> "crunching numbers" and "number-crunching" refer originally to the
> mechanical calculators or "adding machines" that were once commonplace
> in business.
> The noise of such devices can be quite, ah, crunchy.

...and some adding machines worked with a lever you were required to pull
downward as if operating a press. That motion would visually suggest

Bill Le May

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