[Beowulf] "Code" vs. "Codes"

Andrew M.A. Cater amacater at galactic.demon.co.uk
Tue Apr 1 12:23:18 PDT 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 :)


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