A Computator?

A fellow blogger recently emailed me about an episode of “How It’s Made” that he saw on TV.  For those of you who are not familiar with this, it is a show on The Discovery Channel that discusses how various items are made.  It covers things as simple as Twinkies and as complex as semiconductors.  It is kind of a mindless show. 

Anyway, Ryan was watching an episode where they discussed building PC’s.  They had a scene where the person was connecting the wires for the reset switch and power button and the voice over mentioned that they were connecting the “Computator”.  This is a complete gaffe since there is no such thing as a computator at least that we are aware of or could find on Google.  Evidently, the show just made this term up.  It certainly sounds complex, but ironically has no meaning!

Here is a link to a YouTube clip of the video.


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7 thoughts on “A Computator?”

  1. This sounds more like they were getting technical reference from someone who decided to have a little fun with the script writers. I know a lot of the processes they have on the show, and by the way they narrate it’s really obvious that nobody producing it actually knows what they’re talking about. 😛

  2. I recently discovered that the people inside totalisators who added up the totals of horse bets were called computators, at least in New Zealand, around 1900. But I suspect that the term came from people working in banks with the same function.

  3. I believe that someone in the factory was having fun with the show’s researchers and writers, as no such term is used IN ENGLISH for computers today. However, if you were to translate the modern word computer into the ancient Latin, you would get computator by taking the latin root computare, meaning the same thing as compute in English, and adding the suffix -tor to designate something or someone performs that action. The Latin-American Spanish and Porteguise languages carried this combination almost intact into thier modern lexicon by using the word computador for computer.

    1. Hi,

      Thank you for your comment. I completely agree and appreciate your insight into the Latin derivation of computer. The term computator is closer to the proper Latin terminology than I would have thought!

  4. HIM is made in Quebec. They simply forgot to translate “commutateur” which is French for switch. (Which comes from the same Latin root as the English commute, also meaning to switch)

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