[OT] Why is it called string?

Duncan Booth duncan at NOSPAMrcp.co.uk
Thu Aug 21 16:29:11 CEST 2003

Brian Kelley <bkelley at wi.mit.edu> wrote in 
news:3f44ce77$0$556$b45e6eb0 at senator-bedfellow.mit.edu:

> I have always been curious about why a construct like:
> a = "the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog"
> is called a string.  I have always assumed that it was a reference to  a 
> necklace type construct as in (and I can't resist) a "string of perls".

I think you have that about right. It's a "string of characters" rather 
than "pearls".

I could be wrong though, we get so used to our terminology that we don't 
ever need to think where it comes from. I was watching an episode of 
Mastermind (a UK quiz show) the other day, and one of the questions totally 
threw me, it was: "In computing, the word 'bit' is an abbreviation of what 
two other words?", and I was sitting there thinking 'is it really an 
abbreviation?' long after the contestant had passed on that answer and gone 
on to other questions. Yes, I worked it out eventually, and I think the 
contestant had as well by the time he got told the answers to the questions 
he had passed on.

Duncan Booth                                             duncan at rcp.co.uk
int month(char *p){return(124864/((p[0]+p[1]-p[2]&0x1f)+1)%12)["\5\x8\3"
"\6\7\xb\1\x9\xa\2\0\4"];} // Who said my code was obscure?

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