IEEE 754-2008 Subnormal

Minor rant. IEEE 754-2008 redefined a term. In hand wavey terms, very small floating point numbers which could not be completely represented in the format used to be called “Denormal”. With the 2008 update, these were redefined as “Subnormal”.

When I was at school as a child, Autism and Aspereger Syndrome were not well known. I was classed as “Educationally Subnormal” (also “Mentally Deficiant”) – which was the code in those days for “way below average intelligence”.

Every time I see “Subnormal” with respect to floating point numbers, I wince. Especially when they get flushed to zero.

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