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I've tried to find information when term 'word' was firstly used. And it seems that even ENIAC used this term.

Is it safe to say that term 'word' was invented with ENIAC?

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I've tried to find information when term 'word' was firstly used. And it seems that even ENIAC used this term.

And before it, Zuse used it to describe the words of his first machine.

Is it safe to say that term 'word' was invented with ENIAC?

Does it need to be invented? Or isn't it rather obvious? A word is simply the next structure level after a single letter. Like a number is made up from digits and markings like sign and decimal point.

The term 'word' was already used in mathematics/logic to describe related groups of information units, way before it got adapted to (real existing) computers. For example the Norwegian mathematician Axel Thue worked in the early 20th century (1900..1920) on word problems, an area tight coupled to theoretical computing. He used the term 'word' in 1914 published a paper called "Probleme über Veränderungen von Zeichenreihen nach gegebenen Regeln".

Sorry, no idea about the English title - at that time German was still the language of Mathematics - Even Turing used the German Term 'Entscheidungsproblem' (coined by Hilbert) in the title of his 1936 paper regard being written in English. Which is not only the paper he introduced his 'Turing Machine' but as well related to the halting problem mapped out by Thue. Another well known mathematician continuing this was Post working in the US during the 1930s and 40s on computational theory. I guess all of them can be seen as rather influential on the theoretical side of computing.

So it's safe to say that the term 'word' for a dedicated information unit was well established even before any computer was build.

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  • Thank you so much! – No Name QA Jun 26 at 10:56

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