Re: *

Subject: Re: *
From: Steve Fouts <stefou -at- ESKIMO -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 30 Sep 1996 20:17:03 GMT

| >>Hmmmmmmmmm.......... when did people stop calling the # sign the
| >>_pound_ sign? Or the * the _asterisk_? "Splat"? Heck, even "star"
| >>is more accurate than "splat"...

As usual, by simply scanning the list via a newsreader, I sometimes lose
the orignal poster and content. Sorry. Saves me LOTS of time.

Now, as a former system administrator who talked to other system admins on
the phone a lot, I can tell you that having a simple, single syllable word
for everthing is _very_ important. Since some of the people I conversed
with were in Bedford, England, "pound sign" is neither single syllable
nor especially clear. If I said pound sign they'd type £, which I can't
even type from my keyboard and half of you wouldn't see correctly on your
reader. We called #, "hash." Asterisk is three syllables that tend to
garble. Star is used some, but splat is the UNIX sys admin standard.

So the answer to the question, "when did people stop..." is when it was
no longer sufficient to our needs.

The language changes over time to meet the communication needs of the
people who use it. Live with it. If you don't believe this, try to read

I want it to be known that I thought a long time about that last sentence
and strongly considered getting rid of it because of its potential to
launch a long, strongly worded, and completely off topic sub-thread.
I decided that the intelligent, emotionally mature, and Netiquette
aware readers of TECHWR-L would instantly realize that a discussion of
the pros and cons of Beowulf belongs off-line.

The rest of you will make my kill file. ;-)

Steve Fouts
stefou -at- eskimo -dot- com

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