Origins of the C++ name

In Stroustrup’s “A Tour of C++”, it says that C++ takes its name from:

  • The increment operator (++) combined with C programming language name.
  • George Orwell’s novel “1984”.

The first was obvious and expected but the second was surprising, so I did some digging around to find more details.

In the novel “1984”, “Newspeak” was the language of English socialism. Newspeak had three vocabularies. The A vocabulary was for everyday use, the B vocabulary was for political usage and:

“The C vocabulary was supplementary to the others and consisted entirely of scientific and technical terms” – 1984 – George Orwell, p.322

The 1984 novel also describes the meaning of “doubleplus”:

“any word … could be strengthened by the affix plus-, or, for still greater emphasis, doubleplus-.” – 1984 – George Orwell, p.315

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