Mind Your Language #1

By Roy Warner

Originally published in EUG #08

Without too much difficulty it can be shown that the current Prime Minister and the former Minister of fun are blighted or otherwise rotten potatoes; both attend soccer matches, and may therefore be readily classed as "spec-taters".

Assemblers are in a different category. I seem to recall a contributor being exorted to "Put a nightie on it", the Elk that is. Such a remark can only be made from within a secure and enduring assembly of two. In that Assembly, the person performing the union can be deemed an assembler.

An Assembly mnemonic may be written any place one chooses to write it, the loo wall as a superior class of graffiti, or possibly a word processor. However, in the words of the poet, "it don't do a lot" until assembled.

My dictionary says that an assembly is a meeting for worship, deliberative or legislative body, whilst conversely, an assembler is less personalised in that it is described as "the act of putting together of parts".

We have it! An assembly is an eternal triangle of the Elk in a frilly nightie sharing a bed with a married couple, the assemblers being the man from Dixons, assisted by a licensed performer of marriage.

Perhaps the offender is the word "language". My dictionary is being quite difficult here "Human speech, especially that of a Nation; any manner of expressing though". Which gramatically correct Nation speaks Assembly? Is the Assember "Naff" due to a failure to express thought?

Looking at it from an entirely different point of view, humans have an inane habit of attributing the unattributable to inert objects. How could the grossly politically incorrect lout of yesteryear bestow feminine status on an "Old Banger", but we did. (Editor, please note play on "Banger".)

So the real question is: Are computer languages truly languages? Or are all of the so-called languages merely computer programs? If not, why should assembly (denoting a gathering) be a language, and assembler (collecting together), merely a program?!