Re: It's hard to talk with my tongue in my cheek.

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From: Tony Finch (
Date: Sun Jan 14 2001 - 00:00:41 PST wrote:
>At Red Hat, we had the "Body Opponent Bag," or Bob, in support.

Was that named after the Demon Bob or was it an independent coinage?

On the topic of the Demon Bob the Jargon File is correct (although the
ordering is wrong -- "Bob" was a generic tech support name before the
influx in 1995), which is nice because it still has the incorrect
pronunciation of "meta" in the "Commonwealth Hackish" section despite
my attempts to explain to ESR that it is just wrong and an invalid
generalization from the different pronunciation of greek letters. So
is the term "Commonwealth" because they don't speak like that in
Massachussets (etc.).

bob n. At Demon Internet, all tech support personal are called "Bob".
(Female support personnel have an option on "Bobette"). [...] it was
triggered by an unusually large draft of new tech-support people in
1995. It was observed that there would be much duplication of names.
To ease the confusion, it was decided that all support techs would
henceforth be known as "Bob", and identity badges were created
labelled "Bob 1" and "Bob 2". (No, we never got any further).

The reason for "Bob" rather than anything else is due to a luser
calling and asking to speak to "Bob", despite the fact that no "Bob"
was currently working for Tech Support. Since we all know "the
customer is always right", it was decided that there had to be at
least one "Bob" on duty at all times, just in case.

This sillyness inexorably snowballed. Shift leaders and managers began
to refer to their groups of "bobs". Whole ranks of support machines
were set up (and still exist in the DNS as of 1999) as bob1 through
bobN. Then came, and it was filled with
Demon support personnel. They all referred to themselves, and to
others, as `bob', and after a while it caught on. There is now a Bob
Code describing the Bob nature.

Commonwealth Hackish n. Hacker jargon as spoken in English outside the
U.S., esp. in the British Commonwealth. It s reported that
Commonwealth speakers are more likely to pronounce truncations like
`char' and `soc', etc., as spelled [...]. The prefix meta may be
pronounced /mee't*/; similarly, Greek letter beta is usually /bee't*/,
zeta is usually /zee't*/, and so forth. [...]


"Then they attacked a town. A small town, I'll admit.
But nevertheless a town of people. People who died."

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