Posted by Bob on March 21, 2002
In Reply to: Re: GIGO posted by ESC on March 20, 2002
: : : hi guys
: : : if anyone could help me finding the origin of the phrase " Garbage In Garbage Out, GIGO". I use this phrase when in computer science, however, I do not know the origin of the phrase,,,
: : : HELP,,,PL ZZ
: : : thanx
: : It is indeed a Programming acronym, dating from the 50's I believe, when computers were fed with punched tape. If bad data or bad code were pumped into a computer, then the output was of course garbage. One of the leading lights here will be bound to give you a quotation with near first usage.
: No origin yet. But an early use.
: GIGO - "n. An acronym formed from 'garbage in, garbage out,' a principle in computing. if the input or program is incorrect, the output will inevitably be incorrect too. 1964 T.W. McRae: 'If the original data supplied to us are inaccurate we have built what the Americans ironically describe as a gigo model, that is ''garbage in, garbage in.'" From "20th Century Words: The Story of New Words in English Over the Last 100 Years" by John Ayto (Oxford University Press, New York, 1999).
in the early '60s (date subject to further clarification, the word MEGO was used by journalists, starting in the weekly news magazines to indicate stories that (dutifully) had to be written, but were so inherently dull that the reader was in danger of slipping into a coma. Even the writer(s) had to confess that My Eyes Glaze Over when writing one of these. But MEGO, like GIGO, will never gain traction, because they almost always have to be explained each time they're used... which brings everything to a full stop. 66% joke, 34% useful word. (Incidentally, I remember the examples used when I first read about this hot new in-crowd jargon: any stories about economics, and news about this pesky little conflict in far away Viet Nam...)