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Questions tagged [etymology]

Etymology is the study of the history of words, their origins, and how their form and meaning have changed over time.

5
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3answers
308 views

Etymology of “static” functions

I get why static local variables are called "static" -- we want them to be allocated in static memory! But what is the reason for calling functions and variables we want restricted to the current file ...
3
votes
1answer
201 views

Why the name MailboxProcessor in F#?

It seems that the standard practice is to immediately alias MailboxProcessor<'T> to Agent<'T>. So why the name in the first place anyways? Why don't they just call it Agent<'T>, if ...
3
votes
1answer
328 views

Etymology of (function) overloading

Where does the phrase "overload" come from? It's interesting to see the translation of the term in different languages (e.g. list of Wikipedia articles about overloading), some languages translate it ...
6
votes
4answers
7k views

What does the “t” in int32_t signify?

In C, what meaning, if any does the t at the end of integer types like uint8_t and int32_t have? Where did it originate? Why wasn't the type just called int32?
3
votes
1answer
476 views

What is the etymology of the “dot” operator for string concatenation?

Some languages have a . operator for string concatenation. The oldest language I could find that supports it is Perl. Was Perl the first to use it? Why was it chosen?
3
votes
1answer
134 views

What is the origin of the phrase “extirpated as a potential munition”

I recently came across this statement in the Perl documentation: extirpated as a potential munition derived from the sentence: "Creates a digest string exactly like the crypt(3) function in the C ...
4
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2answers
312 views

Etymology of 'virtual' (method/method table/inheritance)

As far as I know, it generally refers to late or dynamic bindng. So why a word like late or dynamic wasn't used?
2
votes
1answer
838 views

Where did the T in wchar_t come from?

In many native types, a common suffix (and sometimes prefix) of t or _t is used to denote platform-independent types (such as wchar_t, int32_t, etc.) What was the logic behind the letter t as opposed ...
14
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3answers
6k views

Why is the output of a compiler called object code?

From the essay Programming Languages Explained by Paul Graham, published in Hackers & Painters: The high-level language that you feed the compiler is also known as source code, and the ...
9
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4answers
1k views

In pair programming, what is each role named, and why?

I've heard the person at the keyboard named the "driver", and the other person named the "navigator". I've imagined rally car racers, where the person at the wheel just cannot keep up with everything ...
21
votes
7answers
3k views

Why is XML not called EML?

From Wikipedia Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a set of rules for encoding documents in machine-readable form. It is defined in the XML 1.0 Specification[4] produced by the W3C, and several ...
6
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2answers
9k views

What does “proxy to” mean?

I keep coming across the word "proxy" used as a verb in tutorials, etc. Usually something will "proxy to" something else. What does this mean? Having spent some time googling for what it means in a ...
2
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3answers
357 views

Use of the word “glitch”

I find myself talking about computers with a lot of non-tech people, who often use the word "glitch" to describe an undesirable outcome of a program or operating system(of course, never Linux!). I ...
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1answer
83 views

What am I supposed to take away from the term Routed Events?

I use events all the time, I cheat and use autocomplete in Visual Studio. Object.closing += [tab] button. Put something in the autogenerated function. Some people like to emphasize the "routed" ...
31
votes
6answers
7k views

Why do we call it “production”?

A coworker was wondering this today: "Why is it that in our industry 'production' means 'final, deliverable product'? You know, like if a movie is 'in production', it means they're currently filming ...
57
votes
3answers
4k views

Etymology of “String”

So it's obvious that a string of things is a sequence of things, and so a sequence of characters/bytes/etc. might as well be called a string. But who first called them strings? And when? And in what ...
54
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4answers
24k views

What is language-agnosticism and why is it called that way?

When is something language agnostic? Why is it called that way?