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Re: st: Re: FORTRAN

From   Marcello Pagano <>
Subject   Re: st: Re: FORTRAN
Date   Tue, 31 Aug 2010 12:13:32 -0400

Certainly an acronym. See OED:

*1943* /Amer. N. & Q./ Feb. 167/1 Words made up of the initial letters or syllables of other words..I have seen..called by the name /acronym/.* 1947* /Word Study/ 6 (/title/) Acronym Talk, or ‘Tomorrow's English’. *1947* /Word Study/ May 6/2 Some new forms combine the initial syllables (resembling blends) instead of initial letters, as in the case of Amvets (American Veterans' Association)..but they still are in the spirit of acronyming. /Ibid./ 7/2 There has definitely been a speed-up in ‘acronyming’. *1950* S. POTTER <> /Our Language/ 163 Acronyms or telescoped names like /nabisco/ from /National Biscuit Company/. *1954* /Britannica Bk. of Yr. 1954/ 638/1 Typical of acronymic coinages, or words based on initials, were..MASH (Mobile Army Surgical Hospital). *1956* R. WELLS <> in M. Halle et al. /For Roman Jakobson/ 665 Take the WE counterpart of the SE expression to be acronymized (/North Atlantic Treaty Organization/), and select from each word the first one or two or three letters in such a way that the selected letters, assembled and regarded as one word, will have a normal, pronounceable SE counterpart. *1967* /Sci. News/ 19 Aug. 177/1 The TacSatCom, as it is acronymed, is a small-scale system which should be in the field soon. *1971* /Daily Tel./ 3 Feb. 12 Has the Establishment realised, inquires an acronymically-minded reader, that if the Industrial Relations Bill becomes law, it will not be only Ireland that is saddled with an IRA? *1972* /Sat. Rev./ (U.S.) 3 June 30 Nitrogen oxide, acronymed NO/x/, is another of the plant's noxious by-products. *1981* /Amer. Speech/ LVI. 65 /Byte/ is a fairly far-fetched way of acronymizing /binary digit eight/. *1981* /Maledicta/ V. 99 Who were the real ‘ethnics’, acronymically speaking? *1983* /Verbatim/ Spring 2/2 Paulies play /puck/ (ice hockey) or /hoop/ (basketball, also acronymed to /b-ball/).

On 8/31/2010 11:06 AM, Lachenbruch, Peter wrote:
Not an acronym, but it stood for FORmula TRANslation when I first learned in the 1960s

Your friendly graybeard,


Peter A. Lachenbruch
Department of Public Health
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR 97330
Phone: 541-737-3832
FAX: 541-737-4001

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of Nick Cox
Sent: Tuesday, August 31, 2010 2:11 AM
To: ''
Subject: RE: st: Re: FORTRAN

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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