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If I use a computer command like:

bind keystroke macro

I refer to that keystroke as being bound to that macro. Is it also correct to say that they are bonded?

If I bind a bunch of twigs together, they are bound, but I don't think they are bonded.

Can "bound" and "bonded" be used interchangeably? Under what circumstances?

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@joshdick: This question is barely even tangentially related to programming. Is it really necessary to have it tagged [programming]? – Dennis Williamson Nov 19 '10 at 22:45
I think it's useful to tag posts with subject-specific tags like this, and it certainly doesn't do any harm. I posted in meta asking what people think, and no one objected. – Joshua Karstendick Nov 20 '10 at 5:57
up vote 10 down vote accepted

Bound is the past tense of bind, while bonded is the past tense of an entirely different word, bond. I don't believe I've ever met a situation where the two words could be used interchangeably.

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"bind" and "bond" have similar etymologies in some senses so I would say they were entirely different words. – Dennis Williamson Nov 17 '10 at 16:04
@Dennis, are you missing a 'not'? But beware the etymological fallacy: the fact that two words are related, as these clearly are, does not of itself tell you that they are in any way connected in the current language. – Colin Fine Nov 17 '10 at 17:25
@Colin: Yes, my comment should say "they were not entirely different words". – Dennis Williamson Nov 17 '10 at 17:41

Maybe you mean "bounded"? In any case, the answer is no:

  • bound - past of to bind.
  • bonded - past of to bond.
  • bounded - past of to bound.

So in each case it's a different verb.

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I think he probably does mean 'bounded', but good summary anyway. – Noldorin Nov 17 '10 at 15:46
@Noldorin: No, I do not mean "bounded". That means either "having a boundary" or "bounced". – Dennis Williamson Nov 17 '10 at 15:53
It that case I can't even see a potential source of confusion..! – Noldorin Nov 17 '10 at 16:25

In programming, we say that the keystroke is bound to the macro, not bonded.

share|improve this answer
It is somewhat arbitrary that whoever coined such expressions chose 'bind' for their metaphor: they could easily have chosen 'bond', and then we would talk about "keys being bonded to macros", and it would make just as much sense. But in fact, "bond" is not used that way. – Colin Fine Nov 17 '10 at 17:28

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