Because you need to know: Today is the 131st anniversary of the hole punch, according to Google. They must have been following our previous discussion in postings and comments to For those with a wry sense of humor and For all that's holey.
Addition 11/15/2017: Because the animation, although working correctly when I pulled the posting up on my laptop, did not work when pulled up on my desktop computer, I have embedded the YouTube version.
In addition, because I am too lazy to do the HTML to include a rebuttal to Stu's comment, I'll include it here. It seems that the hole punch (as I've always called it, rather than puncher) predated the term "chad" (of which I first learned following the federal election of 2000) by many years. I've no idea what anyone has ever called discs of paper produced by using any type of punch. They are "trash" in my terminology
I corrected a glitch in the line spacing of the first paragraph in the copy-and-paste operation that provided the following clarification on chads.
According to Snopes:
Origins: With all the interest in chads generated by the 2000 presidential election, it was inevitable this apocryphal etymology for the word ‘chad’ would resurface with a vengeance. The claim it advances is that chad (those little pieces of paper produced by punching a card or paper tape) had no specific name
until after a Mr. Chadless invented a tool that could punch tape without producing all those annoying little pieces of paper: the “Chadless keypunch.” Supposedly, people didn’t realize that “Chadless” was a person’s name and assumed the keypunch was dubbed “chadless” because it didn’t produce any “chad” — therefore, those little bits of paper it wasn’t making must be “chad.”
This is an entertaining “cart before the horse” story, but it isn’t true. In this case the horse really did precede the cart: The word “chad” has been around since the 1940s (most dictionaries cite 1947 as its first appearance), and it antedates the “Chadless keypunch.” The keypunch wasn’t named after a Mr. Chadless; it was so named because, as expected, it punched tape while producing little or no chad.
What is the real origin of the word “chad”? Most dictionaries simply list it as “origin unknown,” but a current theory has it that chad comes from the Scottish word for gravel.
Last updated: 1 June 2011