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Re: Is your ISP Influenza-ready?

  • From: David W. Hankins
  • Date: Fri Apr 21 14:59:07 2006

On Fri, Apr 21, 2006 at 07:34:19AM -0400, Joseph S D Yao wrote:
> On Tue, Apr 18, 2006 at 10:53:33AM -0700, David W. Hankins wrote:
> ...
> > It's like someone intentionally optimized this function specifically to
> > be the most pessimal.
> ...
> If you know the word "pessimal" [malus, pejor, pessimus = bad, worse,
> worst], you should know that "most pessimal" is redundant - perhaps
> allowable for emphasis - and that "optimized to be pessimal" is so much
> an oxymoron it must be deliberate.  But why not just say "pessimized"?

Actually, I had no idea I'd used the words.

When I was in my youth, I read the story of "Mel, a Real Programmer".
In it, the author actually used two words that have stuck with me ever
since (more included here for context):

	Mel never wrote time-delay loops, either, even when the balky
	Flexowriter required a delay between output characters to work

	He just located instructions on the drum so each successive one
	was just *past* the read head when it was needed; the drum had to
	execute another complete revolution to find the next instruction.

	He coined an unforgettable term for this procedure.  Although
	"optimum" is an absolute term, like "unique", it became common
	verbal practice to make it relative: "not quite optimum" or "less
	optimum" or "not very optimum".

	Mel called the maximum time-delay locations the "most pessimum".

I admit to forgeting it was -mum, not -mal.  Thank you for reminding

David W. Hankins		"If you don't do it right the first time,
Software Engineer			you'll just have to do it again."
Internet Systems Consortium, Inc.		-- Jack T. Hankins

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