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From   Nick Cox <>
To   "''" <>
Subject   RE: st: Re: FORTRAN
Date   Tue, 31 Aug 2010 15:04:33 +0100

I am following the strict sense definition of an acronym as made up of the initial letters only of a string of words. Steve is following a wide sense definition in which initial components (one or more letters) are allowed from each word. You pays your money and you take your choice. 


Steve Samuels

FORTRAN was also my first language, followed by BASIC.  According to
Wikipedia, FORTRAN  originally _was_  an acronym, derived from IBM's
"Mathematical Formula Translating System".

On Tue, Aug 31, 2010 at 5:10 AM, Nick Cox <> wrote:

> Richard makes the point I wanted to make.
> As a side issue -- and declaring a history as another ex-Fortran programmer (for a while it was my only language...) -- FORTRAN was born that way, with an all caps name, in the style of the times. But as the name is not an acronym, Fortran is now standard spelling.

Richard Williams

> At 03:38 PM 8/30/2010, Michael I. Lichter wrote:
>>1. I second Tony's advice that you don't want to take the time to
>>learn FORTRAN (an ancient and nearly-dead language that I last
>>programmed in nearly 30 (!) years ago) if you can avoid it. Hire
>>somebody to help if at all possible.
> FORTRAN was old when the world was young.  Several billion people
> have been born and died since I last used it.  But according to
> Wikipedia, FORTRAN itself continues to thrive and prosper.  Among
> other things, Wikipedia says
> "Since Fortran has been in use for more than fifty years, there is a
> vast body of Fortran in daily use throughout the scientific and
> engineering communities. It is the primary language for some of the
> most intensive supercomputing tasks, such as weather and climate
> modeling, computational fluid dynamics, computational chemistry,
> computational economics, plant breeding and computational physics.
> Even today, half a century later, many of the floating-point
> benchmarks to gauge the performance of new computer processors are
> still written in Fortran (e.g., CFP2006, the floating-point component
> of the SPEC CPU2006 benchmarks)."

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