literal

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literal

1. Maths containing or using coefficients and constants represented by letters: ax2 + b is a literal expression
2. Publishing a misprint or misspelling in a text

literal

(programming)
A constant made available to a process, by inclusion in the executable text. Most modern systems do not allow texts to modify themselves during execution, so literals are indeed constant; their value is written at compile-time and is read-only at run time.

In contrast, values placed in variables or files and accessed by the process via a symbolic name, can be changed during execution. This may be an asset. For example, messages can be given in a choice of languages by placing the translation in a file.

Literals are used when such modification is not desired. The name of the file mentioned above (not its content), or a physical constant such as 3.14159, might be coded as a literal. Literals can be accessed quickly, a potential advantage of their use.

literal

In programming, any data written into the program that remains unchanged when translated into machine language. Examples are values used for calculations as well as text messages displayed on screen. In the following lines of code, the literals are 1 and the value is one. See string literal and numeric literal.

if x = 1print "the value is one"endif
References in periodicals archive ?
Benjamin sees in translations that write literalness an unconventional kind of signification consisting in that "what is meant is bound to the way of meaning of the individual words," from which not a complete reproduction of the original sense but its "poetic significance" is created through the design of word-by-word composition.
These were the effects of literalness, to the detriment of the understanding the complexity of this phenomenon.
Analyzing prophecy's characteristic literalness and obscurity, Poe illuminates a method not only of analyzing the accomplishment of prophecy, but also of anticipating its continued unfolding.
At the centre of Parent's work is an apparent naivety or flaw, which lies in the literalness with which he translates a theoretical concept into architectural form.
Hence, this new translation--which both strives for greater literalness and provides more references to Camus's poorly cited sources than the existing McBride translation--fills a pressing need for a critical edition of a work that holds a key to understanding Camus's later writings.
Toward the end of Richard Menke's lively, informative, and compelling book, we learn that his title was actually anticipated by Joseph Kirkland, a nineteenth-century American editor and novelist, who argued for a technological standard and model for literary production: "Photographic exactitude in scene-painting--phonographic literalness in dialogue--telegraphic realism in narration--these are the new canons for the art of fiction" (216).
Modernity, the author realizes, has distracted the young Jewish mind from faith in Judaism and belief in the literalness of the Bible.
Although there are passages of great beauty in her version (most notably in the letters section) the overall effect is literalness resulting in a stilted translation rather than one that is evocative of the original's imagery and flights of fancy.
Shocking only for its literalness, the work, if not all warm and fuzzy, supplied interesting takes on narcissism, aging, and sexuality.
Maher saves his heaviest armament to attack the literalness of the Bible and uses the virgin birth as a source of humor.
While it has its defenders, that feature--Trumbo's first and last directorial effort--is in many respects a good illustration of the "unfilmable book equals unwatchable movie" principal, dramatizing the source material's stream-of-consciousness with heavy-handed literalness.
In "A Metaphorical Jew: The Carnal, the Literal, and the Miltonic," Linda Tredennick defends Milton's allegory of Sin and Death by claiming that the defining characteristic of Protestantism is an overwhelming sense of sin that can only be alleviated by excising the Jewish traits of "legality, literalness, carnality" (132).