"Compute" as a noun?

Recently, I’ve noticed “compute” being used as a noun. I don’t work in tech, so it’s probably been happening way longer than I realize.

Interested in when this trend began, so I can go back in time and try to stop it. Any ideas?

Here you go.


That doesn’t feel like a noun usage to me, other than the fact that it’s a proper name of a magazine. I’m assuming current usage isn’t as a proper name or branding term?

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Compute is basically slang for abstracted computing resources, a term we need to describe the type of environment used to do work that’s often done these days. It’s hard to keep humans from shortening the terms they use!

The name of a thing, in this case a magazine is a:

Learn to pronounce
noun: noun; plural noun: nouns
a word (other than a pronoun) used to identify any of a class of people, places, or things ( common noun ), or to name a particular one of these ( proper noun ).

Used in data centers for as long as I can remember
Which sadly is a long time :frowning:

Compute got the water, Storage got the air


Examples? “This is a compute.” :smiley:

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Right - but that’s not the usage OP seems to be going after. Nobody in the 80s was saying “let’s give some compute to that project”, unless the project happened to need a stack of magazines. :slight_smile:

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“We’re getting 2 more units of compute on Tuesday
Ask Charlie if he can rack without any extra facilities work”

“Is this a compute.”, is just a plain bad use of language.

…perhaps because of the leading article :slight_smile:


Compute! in that magazine title is far more likely to an imperative ("(You must) Compute or else!") than a noun, though.


The Oxford English Dictionary has “compute” as a noun going back to 1483 in an obsolete form, and to 1531 in the meaning

a. Reckoning, calculation, computation; an instance of this. In later use chiefly in beyond compute.

1531 in D. Laing Reg. Domus de Soltre (1861) 100 Begynnand to the compute off his bountay the tuenti-thua daye of Aprile yheirly.



Common in the area I’ve been working in:

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In high performance computing circles it’s common (or at least it’s common around me) to talk about requirements in terms of compute, storage, networking, power, cooling, etc.

Compute as a noun has been brought to you by the same people gave us data as singular :stuck_out_tongue:


This reminds me why English grammar always gives me a headache! When I studied Latin and Greek, they seemed easier and more consistent, though I’m no expert in either language, or English for that matter. :slight_smile:

Probably because English glued together a dozen semantically-useful verb tenses into a small handful, and even beyond that (to quote somebody I heard once - can’t remember who) “[English] likes to muddle along in the present & imperfect tenses”. :smiley:


That’s why I wonder. In a former job, I was the IT manager at a company dealing with HPC and I never heard/read the term. OK, our main language is German, but we had a ton of international collaborations, so English was widely used.

Yes, but not bad English :wink:

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For sure, this is only true if you are commander?! To be more precise: THE Commander Data? Otherwise, it would not compute, I guess. :joy:

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