[Beowulf] "Code" vs. "Codes"

Andrew M.A. Cater amacater at galactic.demon.co.uk
Tue Apr 1 15:23:18 EDT 2008


On Tue, Apr 01, 2008 at 12:57:10AM -0400, Eric Moore wrote:
> Jon Forrest <jlforrest at berkeley.edu> writes:
> 
> 
> I found this:
> 
>   This German Flag Officer is to be accompanied by a Communications
>   Officer who is familiar with the German Naval W/T organization and
>   who is to bring with him the current naval communications Orders,
>   including allocation of frequencies, list of W/T and R/T call signs
>   in force, and a list of all codes and cyphers in use, and intended
>   to be brought into use.
> 
> So certainly the use of "codes" as a plural for "code" was preexisting
> in the English language by the time "code" became a synonym for
> "program", so if "code" for "program" is accepted, there's no reason
> to look to non-native speakers for "codes" for "programs".
> 

Yes, but this is "code" as in "thing to keep other things secret"

cryptography, cryptanalysis, "code breaking"

"code" as in "I'm finding it hard to code this thing up / the code is 
all in asm rather than C" is standard computer speak in the US and 
English speaking world.

"codes" as in "the weather forecasting / CFD / higher order topology 
computer programs that I've been working on" - feels utterly alien
but then "code" and "codex" are cognate.

Compact OED 1996 gives 

( [] surround italicised text in the original, a. and b. are bold text 
a and b in the original )

code [n] 1 a system of words, letters, figures, or symbols used to 
represent others for secrecy or brevity 2 a system of pre-arranged 
signals esp. used to ensure secrecy in transmitting messages 3 
[Computing] a piece of program text 4 a systematic collection of laws 
etc. 5 a. the prevailing morality of a society or class (code of 
honour) b. a person's standard of moral behaviour [v.tr] put (a 
message, program etc.) into code (from Latin [codex] coder [n]


	Where's a tame linguistics professor when you need him - paging 
Martin Wheeler, paging Martin Wheeler :)

Andy

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