This is the full read-only archive of the "Ask the Wordwizard" section of the original Wordwizard site. The responses to the questions originate from Jonathon Green, the compiler of the Cassell Dictionary of Slang and numerous other dictionaries.
According to Webster's, and ascian is "one that has no shadow; specifically : an inhabitant of the torrid zone where the sun is vertical at noon twice a year". They say that 17th-century British author and philosopher Nathanael Carpenter called the inhabitants of equatorial lands "ascii, " (which is the plural of "ascius") from a Latin term for "those without shadows". What, if anything, does this have to do with the "ascii" that refers to non-formatted computer text?ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Submitted by A. Nealee (Detroit - U.S.A.)
Signature: Topic imported and archived