It was not to be.

‘In these reports von Neumann set down
dozens of routines for mathematical computa-
tion with the expectation that some lowly “cod-
er” would be able to convert them into working
programs. It was not to be. ’
What is meant by ‘It was not to be’ in this context,please?

Hi Ksquo,

‘It was not to be’ suggests ‘this wasn’t going to happen’. In other words you could expect something but your expectations will not be fulfilled. People believed that the First World War would be the last war ever but it was not to be because the Second World War started in 1939.


I see. Thank you very much,Alan!