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accumulator

An accumulator is something, usually in a computer or, back in the good old days, a calculator, that is used as an area where numbers are added together in the process of coming up with the result of an addition. For those of you who are too young to know what a calculator is, respect your elders, which would be me.

Yes, I’m old enough to have used a calculator. Hell, I’m old enough to have used an adding machine. And, I’ll even admit to at one time knowing how to use a slide rule and being required to use one in school.

Once we got the result on the slide rule we had to chisel the result into a block of stone and hand it into the teacher for her to check our answer. It wasn’t easy growing up in the stone age.

To get back to those of you who are too young to have used a calculator, adding machine or slide rule, you are living in a truly golden age of technology. It will be outdone only by all of the ages to come, unless we blow ourselves up with our technologies. It could go either way.

What was I talking about? Oh, yes. Accumulators.

My dictionary tells me that the word accumulator also has a couple of definitions unique to Britain that I hadn’t been aware of, he said adding a “he said” onto the sentence to avoid ending it with a preposition. I haven’t been to Britain since the early 1980s. I guess I need to go back to soak up the language.

One British meaning of accumulator is a rechargeable battery or a collection of rechargeable batteries connected in series. Jeez, I’d better remember to take my own rechargeable batteries when I finally get back to Britain because I have a terrible memory and I will probably forget that I need to ask for an accumulator if I want a rechargeable battery.

Britain is famed for its bookies, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that in Britain accumulator also has a meaning in gambling. It’s a bet on a series of events wherein the winnings from one event are staked on the next event.

I’m not a gambler so I don’t care one whit about the latter meaning. Don’t believe me? Wanna bet?

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