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INTERCAL /in't*r-kal/ /n./ [said by the authors to stand for `Compiler Language With No Pronounceable Acronym'] A computer language designed by Don Woods and James Lyons in 1972. INTERCAL is purposely different from all other computer languages in all ways but one; it is purely a written language, being totally unspeakable. An excerpt from the INTERCAL Reference Manual will make the style of the language clear:

     It is a well-known and oft-demonstrated fact that a person whose
     work is incomprehensible is held in high esteem.  For example, if
     one were to state that the simplest way to store a value of 65536
     in a 32-bit INTERCAL variable is:
          DO :1 <- #0$#256
     any sensible programmer would say that that was absurd.  Since
     this is indeed the simplest method, the programmer would be made
     to look foolish in front of his boss, who would of course have
     happened to turn up, as bosses are wont to do.  The effect would
     be no less devastating for the programmer having been correct.
INTERCAL has many other peculiar features designed to make it even more unspeakable. The Woods-Lyons implementation was actually used by many (well, at least several) people at Princeton. The language has been recently reimplemented as C-INTERCAL and is consequently enjoying an unprecedented level of unpopularity; there is even an alt.lang.intercal newsgroup devoted to the study and ... appreciation of the language on Usenet.

An INTERCAL implementation is available at the Retrocomputing Museum, http://www.ccil.org/retro.

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