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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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