Mung (computer term)
Mung or munge is computer jargon for "to make repeated changes which individually may be reversible, yet which ultimately result in an unintentional, irreversible destruction of large portions of the original item." It was coined in 1958 in the Tech Model Railroad Club at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1960 the backronym "Mash Until No Good" was created to describe Mung, and a while after it was revised to "Mung Until No Good", making it one of the first recursive acronyms. It lived on as a recursive command in the editing language TECO.
Usages of the term appear in munged password (a strong, secure password created through character substitution), data munging (cleaning data from one "raw" form into a structured, purged one) and address munging (disguising an e-mail address).
Munging implies destruction—to make large-scale and irrevocable changes to a file and to destroy it. Hence in the early text-adventure game Zork, also known as Dungeon, the user could mung an object and thereby destroy it (making it impossible to finish the game if the object was an important item).
Munging may also describe the constructive operation of tying together systems and interfaces that were not specifically designed to interoperate (often using the Perl programming language). Munging can also describe the processing or filtering of raw data into another form.
See also 
- Jargon File – a glossary of hacker slang.
- Slug – an application of munging for creating human-friendly URLs.
- "Perl Books - Book: Data Munging with Perl". Perl.org. Retrieved December 30, 2010.
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