Alphadictionary.com

Our Sponsors

Technical Translation
Website Translation Clip Art
 

etaoin shrdlu

Use this forum to suggest Good Words for Professor Beard.

etaoin shrdlu

Postby Stargzer » Wed Jun 04, 2008 7:19 pm

I came across this unusual gem whilst checking my venerable Webster's to make sure I was using et. al. (Latin et alii - and others) properly. I've linked to Wikipedia for ease of copying and linking.

Wikipedia wrote:ETAOIN SHRDLU

ETAOIN SHRDLU is the approximate order of frequency of the twelve most commonly used letters in the English language, best known as a nonsense phrase that sometimes appeared in print in the days of "hot type" publishing due to a custom of Linotype machine operators.

Linotype history

As the letters on Linotype keyboards were arranged by letter frequency, ETAOIN SHRDLU were the first two vertical columns on the left side of the keyboard. Linotype operators who had made a typing error could not easily go back to delete it, and had to finish the line before they could eject the slug and re-key a new one. Since the line with the error would be discarded and hence its contents didn't matter (and since the line needed to be filled to successfully pass through the casting unit), the quickest way to enter enough letters to finish it was to run a finger down the keys, creating this nonsense phrase. ...

Regards//Larry

"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them."
-- Attributed to Richard Henry Lee
User avatar
Stargzer
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2545
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 3:56 pm
Location: Crownsville, MD

Postby Slava » Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:54 am

By the by, for those who haven't looked yet, the Wikipedia link has pictures, too. You can see what the text is talking about, which helped me understand. Enjoy.
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.
User avatar
Slava
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 4450
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:31 am
Location: Finger Lakes, NY

Postby Perry » Wed Sep 22, 2010 5:09 pm

I did.
"Time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening all at once. Lately it hasn't been working."
Anonymous
User avatar
Perry
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2306
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:50 am
Location: Asheville, NC


Return to Good Word Suggestions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests

cron