Re: [johnbarth] Digest Number 815
- In a message dated 6/7/2008 4:59:27 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
1a. Re: Barth mention in review of new Rushdie
Posted by: "Barbara Schmidt" barbstoo@... barbstoo
Date: Fri Jun 6, 2008 7:37 pm ((PDT))
>at least 3 levels of indirection for me to ask this question in a John BarthSorry to be only seven months behind in answering this question. PACK and
>forum; but .... Can someone please explain the usage of 'unpack' as in
>"Honestly, sir, I can't unpack your question." in James Morrow's excerpt in
>Conjunctions 50? Never having seen it until there, I of course saw it again
>almost immediately and, even more interesting (to me), saw a place where it
>should have been used. Is it only extremely snide? Is it widely used?
>Where and when was it born in this usage?
UNPACK were part and parcel of the original announcement of the IBM 360
systems in 1964---packed decimal format was a way to have the binary
S/360 machines handle the decimal format of machines such as the 1410 and
several members of the 7xxx series and behave according to the decimal
In the query, to "unpack a question" would be to expand that question to a
more usual format.
Bruce B. Reynolds, Trailing Edge Technologies, Glenside PA
**************New year...new news. Be the first to know what is making