The Importance of Terminology's Quality

Grant Edwards grante at
Tue Jul 22 20:17:10 CEST 2008

On 2008-07-22, Steve Schafer <steve at> wrote:
> On Tue, 22 Jul 2008 10:21:50 +0100, Martin Gregorie
><martin at see_sig_for_address.invalid> wrote:
>>The first time I ran across the term "thunking" was when Windows 3
>>introduced the Win32S shim and hence the need to switch addressing between
>>16 bit and 32 bit modes across call interfaces. That was called "thunking"
>>by Microsoft and even they would surely admit it was a kludge.

What?!  Microsoft took a technical term and used it to mean
something completely different than the widely used meaning?

> Win32s thunks are a completely different beast from the
> original Algol 60 thunks. As far as I know, the first
> published description of thunks was:
>  Ingerman PZ (1961) Thunks: A way of compiling procedure statements with
>  some comments on procedure declarations, CACM 4:55-58.

The Algol usage is certainly what we were taught back in the
late 70's.  I wasn't even aware that Microsoft had hijacked it
to mean something else.

Grant Edwards                   grante             Yow! My polyvinyl cowboy
                                  at               wallet was made in Hong
                                 Kong by Montgomery Clift!

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