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Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

Flexible abbreviation of words in a computer language

An increasing number of computer programs are designed to accept and translate a symbolic, English-like language which facilitates communication between the user and the computer. A common feature of such programs is a pre-determined vocabulary of expressions for specifying the input to the program. This note describes a generalized technique for permitting flexible abbreviation of such expressions in order to further simplify the task of writing source programs.

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