People frequently ask me why I picked such a title; and in fact some people apparently don't believe that I really did so, since I've seen at least one bibliographic reference to some books called "The Act of Computer Programming."
In this talk I shall try to explain why I think "Art" is the appropriate word. I will discuss what it means for something to be an art, in contrast to being a science; I will try to examine whether arts are good things or bad things; and I will try to show that a proper viewpoint of the subject will help us all to improve the quality of what we are now doing.
One of the first times I was ever asked about the title of my books was in 1966, during the last previous ACM national meeting held in Southern California. This was before any of the books were published, and I recall having lunch with a friend at the convention hotel. He knew how conceited I was, already at that time, so he asked if I was going to call my books "An Introduction to Don Knuth." I replied that, on tile contrary, I was naming the books after him. His name: Art Evans. (The Art of Computer Programming, in person.)
--via Preface of "Literate Programming" citing Knuth's Turing Award speech in 1974