Slides from a 1975 IBM presentation.

I have an odd love for minimalist, 70s design.

Strangely, the slides also refer to a “data base”, not “database”. I wonder when the single-word form became the norm.

Update: Richard Holden, lexicographer of science words for the Oxford English Dictionary, is a teriffic human with many damn fine qualities. He answered my question:

The earliest use of data base that we have in the OED is from 1962, from a memo produced by the System Development Corporation of California, who seemed to coin the term. It looks like the two-word form was the only one in use until about 1970, when database first appears in our set of quotations. But the two-word form is still dominant until the early 80s, when data base and database are used at approximately the same frequency. It’s from about 1990 onwards that the form database seems to dominate almost entirely, with the two-word form now being pretty rare. As an aside, the hyphenated form data-base is quite uncommon throughout, making up only about 1% of all uses of the term in our database.

I am constantly amazed by the quality of the emails I get from readers.