[Ads-l] The Term "Software" in OED

Shapiro, Fred fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Tue Jan 2 11:17:55 UTC 2018

Happy New Year!  Perhaps this new year will bring improvement in the very troubled state of our world.

I am pleased to notice that the revised entry for the computer term "software" in the OED includes John Tukey's 1958 usage, discovered by me, and does not mention the totally unsubstantiated claim of Paul Niquette to have coined the term in 1953.  One possible enhancement to the OED entry might be to include, in square brackets, the pre-1958 citation(s) (I forget whether there are more than one of them) in which "software" was used to denote human beings involved in computer systems.

Fred Shapiro

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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