The Programmer's Dictionary

FidoNews 5-11                Page 15                  14 Mar 1988


                 Yet Another Complicated Komment

                       by Steven K. Hoskin
                   ( STEVE HOSKIN at 1:128/11 )

             Episode 3:  The Programmer's Dictionary

     The  orginal  version of  this  that  I  ever  saw  was in a
photocopied article from a  magazine  of  some kind.  I therefore
have no clue as to whom I should be giving credit for the initial
conception of this collection  of  fundies, but over the years my
friends and I have added  to  this,  and this is one of the later
versions of...

                   The Programmer's Dictionary

Algorithm - New type of musical beat, known best for being hard
     to dance to.

Analyst - The person who always has an answer.  See also,

Argument - Unpleasant encounter with the instructor after mid-

Array - That which comes out of Buck Roger's gun.

Assumed Decimal Point - Located two postions to the right of a
     programmer's current salary in estimating his own worth.

BASIC - 1.  Adjective used to describe programs to give to
     rookies.  2.  Programming language once erroneously thought
     to be user-friendly.

Backup - Action taken by a programmer when an accident is about
     to happen in front of his/her car.

Batch - A small complaint.

Binary - A program missing two program statements.

Bit - The increment by which programmers slowly go mad.

Board - Most common mental state of most programmers.

Bucket - An item on a table that catches spare data.

Bug - A small German car that runs rampid in your program.

Bus - As in Greyhound or PDP, upon which all data commute to

Byte - 1.  What computer science students do to their pencils. 2.
     An action that programmers teach their dogs to do to

C - A lie commonly told by novice programmers; "I see..."

COBOL - Fraternity/Sorority mix party.

CRT - An adjective that describes the way programmers talk to
     operators, i.e., "Why are you so curt to me?"

Cable - Pay television for programmers and printers.

Card Punch - Machine known in this day and age for making good
     note cards to write memos on.

Card Reader - Woman who tells fortunes.

Chaining - A method of attaching programmers to desks to speed up

Checkpoint - The location from which a programmer draws his

Close - Description of the constant state of operator's minds.

Comments - See Fixed Word Length.

Common Language - The first thing a programmer must forget in
     order to be successful.

Comp Sci Instructor - See also, God.

Compiler - Program that continuously finds fault with your work.
     See also, Wife/Husband.

Complex - Adjective used to describe problems to be avoided.

Computer - Scientific Phenomenon; it is probably the only thing
     in this world that can understand a programmer.

Computer Bank - Where your computer stores the money it embezzles
     when your accounting program has a "bug" in it.

Concantonation - Catholic ritual performed once a year to bless

Copyright - 1.  A hacker's self-invested authority to duplicate
     any software package on the market.  2.  Knowledge that such
     duplication has been performed properly

Core Storage - A receptacle for the center section of apples.

Counter - A device over which martinis are served.

Cursor - Someone who Batches a lot.

DATA DIVISION - Keypunch section.

DIVISION - Partitions between offices.

Data Base - Phrase commonly heard by the first base coach of a
     softball team made up entirely of programmers.

Debugging Aids - 1.  Insecticides.  2.  Computer Science

Decision Gate - What programmers use to choose which computer
     language they will use.

Device Driver - Licensed vehicle operator.

Digitizer - Machine that reduces physical objects to computer
     memory, just like in the movie TRON.

Directory - Listing showing where everyone works.  See also, Dump

Disk - Toy used by programmers with nothing better to do.  See
     also, Board, Frisbee.

Disk Management - Sensible care of one's back.

Disk Pack - The result of lifting too much weight over your head.

Dummy Arguments - Discussions between operators.

Dump - Slang term for the computer building  (i.e., Why do I
     spend so much time in this Dump?)

Dump List - List of office branches in the computer building.

ENVIRONMENT DIVISION - The people that scan your office for fire
     hazards and unhealthy deposits of smoke.

Error - What someone else has made when he disagrees with your
     computer output.

Execution - Punishment for programmers who do not follow the
     Standards Manual.  See also, Network.

External Storage - Wastebasket.

FORTRAN - Model train set up on the floor, usually HO scale.

Fixed Word Length - Four-letter words used by programmers in a
     state of confusion.

Flippy Disk - Side two of an LP record.

Floating Control - A characteristic exhibited when you have to go
     to the restroom but can't leave the computer.

Floating Point - The absolute limit before floating control is

Floppy Disk - The result of driving a Floppy Drive.

Floppy Drive - A car with a flat tire.

Flow Chart - A graphic representation of the fastest route to the

Format - What you wipe your feet on before entering the computer

Free - Obsolete expression.

Function - What a program never does on the first run, seldom
     does on subsequent runs, and when it finally does, is a good
     indication that the program is obsolete.

Function Key - Tool required to make a program work.  Commonly
     hidden in Bugs.

GOSUB - Polite way for programmers to tell operators where to go.
     See also, Go To.

Gigabyte - The little laugh that comes out of an operator's mouth
     when he/she bites his/her tongue.

Global Variable - Internationally known Variable, such as Anita
     Bryant.  See also, Variable.

Go To - Often used in conjunction with Biblical locations.  See
     also, fixed word length.

Hacker - Someone who coughs a lot.

Hard Disk - The result of much muscle-building work on one's

Hard Drive - A car with solid rubber wheels.

Hardware - Something that, if you play with it long enough, it
     breaks.  See also, Software.

Head Crash - Last step before a computer Go To, usually executed
     by a programmer crashing his head against the nearest wall.

Head Thrashing - What programmers do when upset at operators. See
     also, Head Crash.

Hexadecimal - High resolution trick, using a six-sided dot for a
     decimal point.

Hierarchy - Chain of command.

High Memory - State of mind a programmer is in when his/her
     program finally works properly.  See also, Function.

High Order Language - See Fixed Word Length.

IC - Lie commonly uttered by Computer Science students.

IDENTIFICATION DIVISION - The security guards for your company's
     parking lot.

Infinite Loop - See Loop.

Initialize - First visual input devices appearing on infant

Input - Food, whiskey, beer, aspirin, etc.

Interrupt - Usually the result of a Keypunch.  See also, Head

Jump - 1.  Dangerous move commonly made by programmers to get to
     conclusions easier.  2.  Something programmers do when a
     program works.  See also, High Memory

Jumper - 1.  Programmer with a working program.  2.  Suit worn by
     female programmers.

Keyboard - A random series of keystrokes, usually either "asdf"
     or "l;kj", used when programmers are bored.

Keypunch - Error solving technique used by many programmers,
     consisting of applying his fist to the teletype terminal.

Laser Printer - Machine dedicated to producing blueprints for new
     and better Lasers.

Last Pointer - Used by the Computer Science Instructor as
     deterence.  See also, Next Pointer.

Light Pen - A pen commonly used by programmers because it is
     easier to use, due to its reduced weight.

Line Printer - Machine that prints lines on blank paper.  Also
     known as Paper Shredder.

Local Variable - Closet Variable.  See also, Variable.

Logical Operator - Extinct Species.

Logo - The way a survivalist programmer goes past a window when
     someone is shooting at him through it.

Logorithm - Old kind of musical beat, best known for its lack of

Loop - See Infinite Loop.

Low Memory - 1.  The characteristic a calculator exhibits when
     the battery is out of energy.  2.  Adjectival phrase
     describing most programmer's ability to remember.

Machine Language - Grunts, groans, squeaks, shudders, etc.

Macro - The last half of an expression of surprise; "Holy

Mag Tape - New scientific metallic adhesive strip that can be
     applied to the hubcaps of your car to make them look "cool".

Mainframe - The portion of a film used to focus the projector.

Mass Bus - A very large bus, sometimes a GMC motor coach.  See
     also, Bus.

Memory Dump - Amnesia.

Memory Extension Board - Review of a programmer's ability to

Mouse - Small creature that leaves tracks on a screen.

Network - Punishment for programmers who do not write efficient
     code, where they are sent out to tie terminals together as
     hard labor.

Next Pointer - The pointer designated by the Comp Sci instructor
     to be used when the Current Pointer breaks.  See also,
     Pointer, Pointer Stack.

Open - Description of the constant state of operator's mouths.

Operator - The person who always rips your program in half when
     removing it from the line printer.  See also, Inefficient.

Output - See Floating Control.

Overflow - That condition resulting from exceeding the Floating

Owner - The person who tells you when you can and cannot use the

PASCAL - Frantic shout by quarterback when throwing the football
     to an unaware reciever.

PINBOL - Most widely used language.  Terminals often found in
     pool halls.

PROCEDURE DIVISION - The office that tries to tell you how to do
     your job.  See also, Wife, Husband.

Pointer - Used by computer science instructors to encourage
     students to behave.

Pointer Stack - Arsenal.  See also, Pointer.

Post Mortem Dump - Place for dead programmers.  See also, Dump.

Programmer - Red-eyed mumbling mammal capable of conversing with
     inanimate objects.

RAM - 1.  A mountain animal.  2.  Usual speed at which a
     headcrash is performed.

RETURN - 1.  What some programmers never do when they "lose" it.
     2.  What some programs never do when they "Go West".

RPG II - Artoo's little cousin.

Run - Ritual feared greatly by programmers.

Runaway Subscript - Delinquint member of your program's family.

SNOBOL - What programmers throw at operators in the winter time.

Scope - 1.  Thing programmers do to a new dump (See Dump).  2.
     Mouthwash for operators.

Screen - Used in futile by programmers to try and keep bugs out
     of their programs.

Significant Digit - Middle finger of either hand, commonly used
     by programmers while talking to operators.

Sin - Not attending Concantonation services.

Software - Something where, if you play with it long enough, it
     works.  See also, Hardware.

Software Piracy - The act of stealing a programmer's bed.

Squash Routine - Pre-planned execution of agile moves in an old
     British game.

Stack - Favourite part on a female computer for male programmers.

Standards Book - Instructions for driving stick-shift cars.

String - Used to tie data together.

Structured Programming - Contradiction of terms.

TROFF - What pigs eat out of.

TRON - What your mother or wife says when she's found a new suit
     for you, "Here's something I want you to TRON."

TURBO PASCAL - New and powerful car, requiring a special diskette
     in order to legally drive it.  Commonly seen breaking speed
     limits when traversing Mass Buses.

Tape - Sometimes used to chain programmers.

Tape Drive - Best known for its ability to have lunch in the
     middle of reading the only copy of a source tape.

Terminal - Status of most programmers, especially after the user
     sees the programs he/she has written.

Text Editor - Employee of a local newspaper.

Top-Down Structure - Impressive accidental coincidence when
     found.  See also, Structured Programming.

Trapezoidal Rule - Country ruled completely by trapezoids.

Underflow - Symptom of an impotent programmer.

User - The person who never seems to be able to tell you what
     he/she wants from the computer.

User-Friendly - Synonym for anti-programmer.

Variable - Bi-sexual programmer.

Vector - The first name of the lowest part of your operating
     system's memory.

Voice Synthesizer - Device used by programmers to communicate
     with human beings.

WATFOR - Statement frequently uttered by computer science

WRITE Statement - Opposite of Wrong Statement.

Word Processor - Machine that makes food out of old computer