Concordance! Greek looks like APL to me

Earlier this year I received a post and email and then a tweet from Lyman Hurd, a software engineer in Atlanta GA, saying that if I was researching a documentary about APL, then I really should talk to his father John Hurd.

Well it turns out that the connections between APL and the humanities goes deeper than Eugene McDonnell’s membership in the Jane Austin Society.

Way back in the 80’s John Hurd wrote a concordance program for languages not using the Latin alphabet in APL.   A then used this software to teach an undergraduate course in Greek at the University of Toronto.

My adventure for today is a journey to the Northern reaches of Toronto to meet Professor Hurd!  I’ll let you know how it goes.

Letter from Toronto Computers and Humanities (19) 1985 Paradigm Press Inc Volume 19, Number 4, 251-253, DOI: 10.1007/BF02259579


4 Responses to “Concordance! Greek looks like APL to me”

  • Candide indeed. Odd maybe that “computational linguistics” (my self-invented major in college) applications often use naughty texts as their source material. Stuck with a 360/67 and a 32k workspace, I resorted to SNOBOL under TSO to disassemble some James Joyce bits long ago.

  • aprogramminglanguage aprogramminglanguage

    Do tell, Andrew!

  • Really glad you got to meet him. I know he was thrilled. The work actually started in the 70’s! By 1980 I was safely off at college and it was the reason I learned APL as a youngster. Not to imply that I am not still a youngster…



  • Hi Catherine,

    Interesting stuff about Hurd. Let me know how it turned out.


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