that old GNU/Linux argument

Timothy Murphy gayleard at
Mon Jul 21 11:59:43 UTC 2008

Gordon Messmer wrote:

> Language doesn't work that way.  If you speak, and your listener doesn't
> understand you, then *you* are the one at fault.  There's no point in
> speaking to others except for them to understand your meaning.  That is
> why it is essential for us all to use words whose meanings are
> consistent and specific.  Therefore, it is detrimental to refer to the
> Linux kernel as "Linux", and the GNU+Linux operating sytem as "Linux",
> and distributions of Free Software which run the GNU operating system as
> "Linux".  How will anyone understand what you mean?

I've never, ever, misunderstood someone because they use the term "Linux".

But I do genuinely misunderstand the term "GNU operating system".
Does it mean GNU/Hurd, or does it mean "an operating system
using a lot of GNU bits"?

Please read the first 2 sentences you wrote above, and think about them.

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