The Arnold Schwarzenegger Programming Language Is a Beautiful Thing

The Citizen's Guide to the Future
June 18 2014 2:50 PM

The Arnold Schwarzenegger Programming Language Is a Beautiful Thing


Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images


So begins every program written in a new Arnold Schwarzenegger-based programming language available for download on GitHub. The language, called ArnoldC, was developed by Finnish programmer Lauri Hartikka and assigns basic programming functions to the governator’s most recognizable catchphrases, including TALK TO THE HAND, GET TO THE CHOPPER, and—of course—YOU HAVE BEEN TERMINATED. (Yes, the terms have to be typed in all caps.)

While it certainly ranks high in absurdity, ArnoldC is by no means the only wacky programming language out there.  Programmers come up with new languages all the time, often just to have a bit of fun. If you’re looking for something a little more literary, there’s Shakespeare, which reads like any of the Bard’s plays, with an extra dose of creative insults. If you’re looking for a challenge, There’s Brainfuck, which uses only eight symbols (> < + - . , [ ]). If you’re looking to completely lose your mind, there’s Chicken, which—you guessed it—uses exclusively the word chicken.


Writing code is simply a way to give instructions to a computer in a language that is intelligible to humans. These languages are much simpler than English but are still vastly more complex than the computer can understand. Whether code is written in C++ or Chicken, once the coder runs the program, it is converted to a machine language of 0s and 1s that the computer can comprehend and execute. Essentially, it doesn’t matter what language a programmer chooses, as long as it’s clear to her. You could even write directly in binary if you had a lot of time on your hands.

However, since we usually have to translate code from human language to machine language, perhaps structuring a programming language around one-liners from a man who played a human-machine hybrid makes more sense than you think. It’s actually kind of beautiful.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Hana Glasser is a Slate intern.



Don’t Worry, Obama Isn’t Sending U.S. Troops to Fight ISIS

But the next president might. 

IOS 8 Comes Out Today. Do Not Put It on Your iPhone 4S.

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

How Much Should You Loathe NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell?

Here are the facts.

Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows


The Human Need to Find Connections in Everything

It’s the source of creativity and delusions. It can harm us more than it helps us.


More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

The Ungodly Horror of Having a Bug Crawl Into Your Ear and Scratch Away at Your Eardrum

We Could Fix Climate Change for Free. Now There’s Just One Thing Holding Us Back.

  News & Politics
Sept. 17 2014 7:03 PM Once Again, a Climate Policy Hearing Descends Into Absurdity
Business Insider
Sept. 17 2014 1:36 PM Nate Silver Versus Princeton Professor: Who Has the Right Models?
Sept. 17 2014 6:53 PM LGBTQ Luminaries Honored With MacArthur “Genius” Fellowships
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 17 2014 6:14 PM Today in Gender Gaps: Biking
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 17 2014 9:37 AM Is Slate Too Liberal?  A members-only open thread.
Brow Beat
Sept. 17 2014 5:56 PM Watch Louis C.K., Dave Chappelle, Bill Hicks, Mitch Hedberg, and More on New YouTube Channel
Future Tense
Sept. 17 2014 7:23 PM MIT Researchers Are Using Smartphones to Interact With Other Screens
  Health & Science
Sept. 17 2014 4:49 PM Schooling the Supreme Court on Rap Music Is it art or a true threat of violence?
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.