Number Crunching

Educational CyberPlayGround admin at EDU-CYBERPG.COM
Sun Dec 19 00:51:33 UTC 2004


Computer Wonder Women

"The women, who were classified
as sub-professionals and called "computers,"
worked on equations that took more than 30 hours to solve. "

Karen Ellis
Educational CyberPlayGround

At 12:50 PM 12/17/2004, you wrote:
>---------------------- Information from the mail header
>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>Poster:       "James A. Landau" <JJJRLandau at AOL.COM>
>Subject:      Re: Number Crunching
>"Number crunching" meaning heavy-duty numerical computations is a strained
>metaphor.  It might have arisen from "numeric data processing" with the
>image of
>"crunching" for "processing".  I suspect that it is one of those "off the
>wall", "straight out of left field" metaphors that become popular because they
>are so far-fetched---the average user doesn't think of such an expression, and
>then is so pleased with such novel imagery that s/he can't resist using it.
>I do not recall hearing "number crunching" before the Cray I went on the
>     - James A. Landau

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