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Francine.Neary@googlemail.com 03-31-2007 01:37 AM

Etymology of "struct"
 
People seem to have different views as to where the C reserved word
"struct" comes from. One explanation is that it is a shortening of
"structure", and another is that it is an acronym for "single type
representing useful compound types".

Does anyone here know the history of the word?


William Ahern 03-31-2007 02:05 AM

Re: Etymology of "struct"
 
Francine.Neary@googlemail.com wrote:
> People seem to have different views as to where the C reserved word
> "struct" comes from. One explanation is that it is a shortening of
> "structure", and another is that it is an acronym for "single type
> representing useful compound types".


> Does anyone here know the history of the word?


It should be obvious, if only by application of the princple of Occam's
razor.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam's_Razor

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backronym

As somebody recently stated on comp.unix.programmer (IIRC) about the origins
of the "/usr" directory in Unix, the contemporary predilection for acronyms
is a relatively recent phenomenon. Or rather, more recent than the age from
whence C and Unix originated. Maybe somebody might dispute this, but I think
the evidence for similar name derivations makes a strong case.


Army1987 03-31-2007 10:20 AM

[OT] Re: Etymology of "struct"
 
> As somebody recently stated on comp.unix.programmer (IIRC) about the
> origins
> of the "/usr" directory in Unix, the contemporary predilection for
> acronyms
> is a relatively recent phenomenon. Or rather, more recent than the age
> from
> whence C and Unix originated. Maybe somebody might dispute this, but I
> think
> the evidence for similar name derivations makes a strong case.


What were proposed etymologies for it?



Joachim Schmitz 03-31-2007 11:58 AM

Re: [OT] Re: Etymology of "struct"
 
"Army1987" <please.ask@for.it> schrieb im Newsbeitrag
news:eulclj$fnt$1@tdi.cu.mi.it...
>> As somebody recently stated on comp.unix.programmer (IIRC) about the
>> origins
>> of the "/usr" directory in Unix, the contemporary predilection for
>> acronyms
>> is a relatively recent phenomenon. Or rather, more recent than the age
>> from
>> whence C and Unix originated. Maybe somebody might dispute this, but I
>> think
>> the evidence for similar name derivations makes a strong case.

>
> What were proposed etymologies for it?

/usr -> Unix System Resource (rather than USeR)

Bye, Jojo



Bill Leary 03-31-2007 02:26 PM

Re: Etymology of "struct"
 
<Francine.Neary@googlemail.com> wrote in message
news:1175305038.369965.56220@r56g2000hsd.googlegro ups.com...
> People seem to have different views as to where the C reserved word
> "struct" comes from. One explanation is that it is a shortening of
> "structure", and another is that it is an acronym for "single type
> representing useful compound types".


That "single type..." sounds like a backronym.

And when you consider other UNIX/c shortenings like "usr" and, especially,
"creat", I'd go for it just being a shortening.

Of course, there's always "yacc" and "awk" (among others) to give some
support to the idea.

- Bill


Manuel T 03-31-2007 02:31 PM

Re: [OT] Re: Etymology of "struct"
 
Joachim Schmitz wrote:

>> What were proposed etymologies for it?

> /usr -> Unix System Resource (rather than USeR)


Can somebody ask for this to Dennis Ritchie?(I always thought this stand for
USeR)
--
Linux engine 2.6.17-11-generic i686 GNU/Linux

Richard Heathfield 03-31-2007 03:24 PM

Re: [OT] Re: Etymology of "struct"
 
Manuel T said:

> Joachim Schmitz wrote:
>
>>> What were proposed etymologies for it?

>> /usr -> Unix System Resource (rather than USeR)

>
> Can somebody ask for this to Dennis Ritchie?(I always thought this
> stand for USeR)


Why not ask in alt.folklore.computers ?


--
Richard Heathfield
"Usenet is a strange place" - dmr 29/7/1999
http://www.cpax.org.uk
email: rjh at the above domain, - www.

P.J. Plauger 03-31-2007 05:42 PM

Re: [OT] Re: Etymology of "struct"
 
"Richard Heathfield" <rjh@see.sig.invalid> wrote in message
news:EYKdnVYT9ONL4ZPbnZ2dnUVZ8vmdnZ2d@bt.com...

> Manuel T said:
>
>> Joachim Schmitz wrote:
>>
>>>> What were proposed etymologies for it?
>>> /usr -> Unix System Resource (rather than USeR)

>>
>> Can somebody ask for this to Dennis Ritchie?(I always thought this
>> stand for USeR)


That was my recollection. The first Unix system at Bell Labs put
the home directories for all users in /usr. When that later
spilled to a second disk, those of us sent there were put in
/crp. ("Creep" was a common synonym for "user".)

P.J. Plauger
Dinkumware, Ltd.
http://www.dinkumware.com



P.J. Plauger 03-31-2007 05:58 PM

Re: Etymology of "struct"
 
"Bill Leary" <Bill_Leary@msn.com> wrote in message
news:CPydnSiK_s4f8pPbnZ2dnUVZ_hSdnZ2d@giganews.com ...

> <Francine.Neary@googlemail.com> wrote in message
> news:1175305038.369965.56220@r56g2000hsd.googlegro ups.com...
>> People seem to have different views as to where the C reserved word
>> "struct" comes from. One explanation is that it is a shortening of
>> "structure", and another is that it is an acronym for "single type
>> representing useful compound types".

>
> That "single type..." sounds like a backronym.
>
> And when you consider other UNIX/c shortenings like "usr" and, especially,
> "creat", I'd go for it just being a shortening.
>
> Of course, there's always "yacc" and "awk" (among others) to give some
> support to the idea.


"struct" is short for "structure", just as "union" is short for
"union".

P.J. Plauger
Dinkumware, Ltd.
http://www.dinkumware.com



Bill Leary 03-31-2007 09:39 PM

Re: Etymology of "struct"
 
"P.J. Plauger" <pjp@dinkumware.com> wrote in message
news:-MydnQq7up0FOZPbnZ2dnUVZ_tadnZ2d@giganews.com...
> "Bill Leary" <Bill_Leary@msn.com> wrote in message
> news:CPydnSiK_s4f8pPbnZ2dnUVZ_hSdnZ2d@giganews.com ...
>
>> <Francine.Neary@googlemail.com> wrote in message
>> news:1175305038.369965.56220@r56g2000hsd.googlegro ups.com...
>>> People seem to have different views as to where the C reserved word
>>> "struct" comes from. One explanation is that it is a shortening of
>>> "structure", and another is that it is an acronym for "single type
>>> representing useful compound types".

>>
>> That "single type..." sounds like a backronym.
>>
>> And when you consider other UNIX/c shortenings like "usr" and,
>> especially, "creat", I'd go for it just being a shortening.
>>
>> Of course, there's always "yacc" and "awk" (among others) to give some
>> support to the idea.

>
> "struct" is short for "structure", just as "union" is short for
> "union".


I agree. If I gave an impression otherwise, sorry about that.

- Bill



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