I would like to preface this post by drawing your attention to the time of this posting. You’ll find that in the lower left corner of this entry. See that? Me, Dracula, and Charlie Sheen are the only people awake right now. So”¦
By now my regular readers should know that when I get tired I tend to gravitate towards odd web sites which I believe, perhaps wrongly, alleviate the stress of reading way too much.
So, I’m over at Wikipedia and for infantile reasons which I don’t wish to explore right now, I decide to type “fuck” into the search engine. Look at the enormous entry that pulls up. Then, I started looking at the entry for “profanity” and am shocked to find an entry just as huge. By this point the Beavis & Butthead in me are going crazy with all the swear words on the screen, but one little sentence catches my attention:
I read that “[m]any computer programs have lots of profanity in the comments,” and immediately I’m thrust back in time to tech school.
See, when you write computer code the programming language will always have certain strings of characters that will allow you to place programmer’s comments inside the coding. Initially this was used to document progress or to fully explain your particular algorithms in case another programmer had to work on your code. These comments are usually set off with characters like this: /*This is a comment and will not compile at the end of coding
It became quite common to vent your frustration through programming comments, so much so that while helping someone debug their code you might see things like: /*Why won’t this fucker run? Or the simple, but ever popular /*FUCK C++ or *FUCK COBOL*
Inevitably, you would work for hours on a complicated and frustrating algorithm and during that time little comments would sneak into your code. Then after you finally debug the code and get your program to run without crashes, your elated mood will cause to you forget about all those little swear words in the code, and without thinking you upload your program to the mainframe, save it, print out your code and turn your project in secure in the knowledge that your are a masterful programmer indeed.
That elation carries over into the next class to the extent that you have no idea why Mr. Hathi wants you to stay a couple minutes after class to discuss a few things.
Keep this in mind when you’re typing in Word or listening to Bell Biv Devoe in iTunes, that the code that makes those programs run is most likely filled with some of the filthiest language you’ll never read.