[Beowulf] "Code" vs. "Codes"

Tim Cutts tjrc at sanger.ac.uk
Mon Mar 31 17:40:23 EDT 2008


On 31 Mar 2008, at 9:36 pm, Jon Forrest wrote:
> Sometime long ago I first heard the term "codes"
> used in the same way I would use the term
> "programs". For example, someone might have
> said "The codes from Berkeley were very tricky".
>
> The first time I heard this, I thought maybe
> this term came from someone who wasn't a native
> speaker of English, who was trying to pluralize
> the term "code". This often happens with
> words like "information" and "documentation".
>
> But, now I regularly hear native speakers
> of English using "codes" to mean "programs",
> especially in the scientific realm, such as
> what many of us deal with regularly.
>
> Does anybody know how this usage first came about?

I don't know, but I'd be curious to find out too.  It's a usage I've  
only ever encountered in the HPC field, and when I first heard it it  
was from people who've been in the business a long time, so I suspect  
it's quite old.

Tim


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