Subject: ioctl
From: "CB Casper" <knowone -at- surfy -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 05 Sep 2002 10:04:28 -0800

I've found the term "ioctl" used quite a
bit with various usages in UNIX software
manuals, and am wondering if it's traveled
beyond jargon and landed in acceptable.

I've checked various technical anti-jargon
websites, but have not found it included.
Google found 423K instances, but since it is
a legitimate UNIX command, I'm not surprised.
Even my favorite technical terminology
website,, does not define it.

"ioctl" substitutes for Input Output Control
and is also used as a category of commands,
rather than a specific one.

Here are some examples in the document:

The XYZ function will call the ACD function
with the ZCZ ioctl command.

The results from this ioctl will then be
used to display the information.

The YXY ioctl will be used to process requests.

This includes all ioctl?s which will support
displaying information.

The IP address is obtained via the ZZX ioctl?s.

This term is so pervasive, that I am tempted
to leave things alone, but it smacks of jargon.
I am thinking that it should at least be in the
glossary if not re-written.

Is it pervasive enough to not have to define it,
or spell it out occasionally?

The only hits on it in the TECHWR-L archives
mentioned it as a term needing to be in the
index of various docs, and I found nothing in the

ioctl'd aunts

CB - who doesn't know where to start to pronounce
ioctl, if it ever came up in conversation!

PS: cross posted to TECHWR-L & COPYEDITING-L
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