Number Crunching

Marsha Alley marshaalley at MSN.COM
Fri Dec 17 19:55:58 UTC 2004

I worked with that type of calculator when I first began my career in 1966.  And, yes, the sound was a crunch, although I can't remember if we called it number crunching at that time.  Bean counting, yes.  


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

  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.

  Any retired accountants in the house?


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