Origin of "bit"

Subject: Origin of "bit"
From: Richard Mateosian <srm -at- C2 -dot- ORG>
Date: Sat, 22 Jul 1995 03:28:23 -0700

>Perhaps "bit" is not a contraction (or abbreviation or whatever) for
>"binary digit" at all.

From The Mathematical Theory of Communication by Claude Shannon (1948):

The choice of a logarithmic base corresponds to the choice of a unit
for measuring information. If the base 2 is used the resulting units
may be called binary digits, or more briefly bits, a word suggested by
J. W. Tukey.

There it is, folks. Straight from the horse's mouth. ...RM

Richard Mateosian http://www.c2.org/~srm/ President, Berkeley STC
Freelance Technical Writer srm -at- c2 -dot- org Review Editor, IEEE Micro

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