[SIGCIS-Members] Origin of 'language'?

Bjorn Westergard bjornw at gmail.com
Wed Nov 5 07:34:24 PST 2014

This paper
<http://www.computer.org/csdl/mags/an/2011/01/man2011010088-abs.html> by
Grier, and an earlier one cited in it, establishes an etymology for the
verb 'to program' (in the computer programming sense) in the ENIAC era, via
industrial process engineer. Davis' "The Universal Computer" and Priestly's
"A Science of Operations" both discuss the influence of logicians' (e.g.
Hilbert) notion of a "formal language" on the notion of subsequent computer
users/theorists. You might also look into the related terms "instruction"
or "command", which have similarly strong anthropomorphic connotations.

Sent from my iPhone

On Nov 5, 2014, at 4:13 AM, Marie Gevers <marie.gevers at unamur.be> wrote:

I wonder by whom and when the word 'language' was used for the first time
in the framework of computer sciences.
Can anybody enlighten me?
Thanks in advance.


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Centre d'Etudes Sciences et PHIlosophie à Namur (ESPHIN)
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T. +32 (0)81 724 973
F. +32 (0)81 724 967
marie.gevers at unamur.be

Université de Namur ASBL
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