Fwd: FC: PC backlash & Linus Torvalds on profanity in the Linux

Rohit Khare (rohit@uci.edu)
Thu, 10 Jun 1999 10:04:07 -0700

>To: politech@vorlon.mit.edu
>From: Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>
>Subject: FC: PC backlash & Linus Torvalds on profanity in the Linux source
>X-URL: Politech is at http://www.well.com/~declan/politech/
>After Jamie M.'s post on politech and another list I maintain about
>profanity in the Linux source, the inevitable PC backlash soon followed.
>Fortunately it doesn't seem to be going very far.
>BTW I have used profanity in source code. I remember one time about 10
>years ago I was trying to compile a program with gcc on my NeXT. There was
>a bug in that version of gcc and I could get around it (I discovered after
>much too much time wasted) only by putting a few blank lines in the code.
>In that situation, typing curses at the system is mandatory...
>------- Forwarded Message
>From: torvalds@transmeta.com (Linus Torvalds)
>Subject: Re: Profanity in the Linux Kernel?!?!?
>Date: 9 Jun 1999 05:38:43 GMT
>Organization: Transmeta Corporation, Santa Clara, CA
>Message-ID: <7jkul3$nlc$1@palladium.transmeta.com>
>In article <87vhcypfsp.fsf@phreaker.net>,
>Scott Jaderholm <suicydl@phreaker.net> wrote:
>>I hope that I do not offend too many people.
>> cd /usr/src/linux ; grep -i fuck `find . -name '*.[ch]'`
>I'll just re-iterate my standpoint on this before it gets out of hand..
>Profanity and bad taste can be fine. It's usually not a problem, and the
>only cases where it should be =really= avoided is in messages to the
>user that aren't absolutely lethal this-should-not-ever-happen kind.
>But I feel that trying to be too politically correct is a much worse
>disease than =any= amount of profanity, and I'm personally much happier
>seeing the output of a grep like the above than I would be trying to
>clean it up in the name of PC.
>That means, for example, that I won't accept cleanup-patches from
>anybody else than the maintainers of the specific subsystems. And I
>won't do the cleanup myself. I _might_ reject a patch because I felt is
>was too foul-mouthed, but to be quite frank I don't think I have ever
>done so.
>So don't worry. People have sometimes worried that it is
>"unprofessional" to use profanity, but if you think professionals don't
>swear you've either been living in a monestary or playing golf your
>whole life ;)
>I'll start worrying when the profanities start to occupy a noticeable
>amount of kernel space.
> Linus
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