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    Raphael Finkel

    Jew Score:
    12

    I4

    O5

    K3
    June 24, 1951 —

    When is the last time you spelled out BTW? You 
    know, "by the way"? Well, we just did. BTW, 
    that felt very weird. Who spells out BTW?
    

    BTW is just one of many Internet acronyms that have taken over modern lingo. But how did it all start?

    It can be traced back all the way to 1975, when Stanford computer scientist Raphael Finkel compiled the Jargon File, also called the Hacker's Dictionary. Acronyms were only a small part of it; it contained many words that are common today (especially in the world of computers): bug, deadlock, feature, glitch, hack, kluge, patch... and some that didn't quite make it (mumblage? winnitude?).

    The Jargon File has been evolving since, but Finkel has long left the project. After helping a new language to come to life, he is now trying to keep another language from dying:

    Yiddish.

    Verdict: Jew.

    February 5, 2024

    See Also

    Laurence Canter

    Jaron Lanier

    Alan Perlis

    Larry Tesler

    Ethan Zuckerman
    © Jew or Not Jew, 2006-2024.