Origins of the term 'WYSIWYG?

Tony Duell ard.p850ug1 at
Mon Jan 16 13:04:59 CST 2017

On Mon, Jan 16, 2017 at 7:01 PM, Al Kossow <aek at> wrote:

> Etymology
> The phrase "what you see is what you get", from which the acronym derives, was a catchphrase popularized by Flip
> Wilson's drag persona Geraldine, first appearing in September 1969, then regularly in the early 1970s on The Flip Wilson
> Show. The phrase was a statement demanding acceptance of Geraldine's entire personality and appearance.
> As it relates to computing, there are multiple claims to first use of the phrase:
>     In mid-1975, John W. Seybold, the founder of Seybold Publications, and researchers at PARC, incorporated Gypsy
> software into Bravo to create Bravo 3, which allowed text to be printed as displayed. Charles Simonyi and the other
> engineers appropriated Flip Wilson's popular phrase around that time.[13][14]
>     Barbara Beeton reports that the term was coined by Bill Tunnicliffe in a presentation at a 1978 committee meeting
> involving the Graphic Communications Association (GCA), the American Mathematical Society (AMS), and the Printing
> Industries of America (PIA).[15]
>     The phrase was coined in 1982[16] by Larry Sinclair, an engineer at Information International, Inc. ("Triple I") to
> express the idea that what the user sees on the screen is what the user gets on the printer while using the "page layout
> system", a pre-press typesetting system first shown at ANPS in Las Vegas.[when?]


My point is that a very similar phrase ('What you see, you get') was
used by a camera manufactuer
some 15 years earlier (at least).


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