Word of the week

Word of the week: CamelCase

CamelCase involves capitalizing one of the letters in a word to make it look like two words. The following words all use CamelCase: PowerPoint, WordPerfect, YouTube, McDonald’s.

I had never heard the word before until there was a question about it on “Only Connect”, a second round question where the contestants have to say what comes fourth in a sequence. It was a sequence like the example above, with a 5-letter word, a 4-letter word and then a 3-letter word each preceding the second capitalized letter. McDonald’s was an acceptable an answer, a 2-letter word followed by a capitalized letter.

Some programmers might be familiar with the term CamelCase (though not the handful of occasional or former programmers that I have asked), but it doesn’t seem to have entered day-to-day language yet. As with many things that I have posted here in the last nine months the purpose of this short piece is, at the very least, to act as a reminder for me. I was struggling to remember the word and resorted to using a search engine, something I am still reluctant to do to locate information that is already somewhere in my brain. I am happy to use search engines to find out new things but feel that I should exercise my memory first when trying to recall something. (I realize that this is probably a very old-fashioned point of view.) While typing those last few sentences I remembered that the second word in the “Only Connect” question (the 4-letter word followed by another capitalized word) was AltaVista, a website I recall with great fondness. Back in the 1990s it was, by a long way, the best available search engine. I have just discovered that AltaVista.com no longer exists in its old form. It redirects straight to Yahoo’s search page, somewhere I haven’t visited in rather a long time.

 

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