[Beowulf] "Code" vs. "Codes"

Jon Forrest jlforrest at berkeley.edu
Mon Mar 31 13:36:46 PDT 2008

Sometime long ago I first heard the term "codes"
used in the same way I would use the term
"programs". For example, someone might have
said "The codes from Berkeley were very tricky".

The first time I heard this, I thought maybe
this term came from someone who wasn't a native
speaker of English, who was trying to pluralize
the term "code". This often happens with
words like "information" and "documentation".

But, now I regularly hear native speakers
of English using "codes" to mean "programs",
especially in the scientific realm, such as
what many of us deal with regularly.

Does anybody know how this usage first came about?

Jon Forrest
Research Computing Support
College of Chemistry
173 Tan Hall
University of California Berkeley
Berkeley, CA
jlforrest at berkeley.edu

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