[PATCH] Fix spelling of ones' complement.

Marek Polacek polacek@redhat.com
Tue Nov 16 02:19:30 GMT 2021

On Tue, Nov 16, 2021 at 02:01:47AM +0000, Koning, Paul via Gcc-patches wrote:
> > On Nov 15, 2021, at 8:48 PM, Marek Polacek via Gcc-patches <gcc-patches@gcc.gnu.org> wrote:
> > 
> > Nitpicking time.  It's spelled "ones' complement" rather than "one's
> > complement". 
> Is that so?  I see Wikipedia claims it is, but there are no sources for that claim.  (There is an assertion that it is "discussed at length on the talk page" of an article about number representation, but in fact there is no discussion there at all.)
> I have never seen this spelling before, and I very much doubt its validity.  For one thing, why then have "two's complement"?  For another, to pick one random authority, J.E. Thornton in "Design of a computer -- the Control Data 6600" refers to "one's complement" to describe the well known mode used by that machine and its relatives.

Knuth, The Art of Computer Programming Volume 2, page 203-4:

"A two's complement number is complemented with respect to a single
power of 2, while a ones' complement number is complemented with respect
to a long sequence of 1s."


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