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September 2017
October 2017

2017-09-25 »

Two name-pronunciation anecdotes:

1) I lived in Montreal for quite a while, where there are lots of francophones. Most people there pronounce my name "wrong," something like "Avérie" (Ah-vey-ree). Of course, I can't actually replicate it. But it's a pretty good way to pronounce my name, honestly, and I kinda like it.

2) "Linux" is famous for having a non-obvious pronunciation. There is a vintage audio file[1] where Linus Torvalds says, "Hello, this is Linus Torvalds, and I pronounce Linux as Linux." The way he phrased this sentence is very particular, and I think a lot of people don't understand it. He made the recording after a mailing list thread in which people demanded to know the "right" way. His stated opinion was basically, you should pronounce it how you pronounce Linus. Linus might be a name of someone you know. You almost certainly don't pronounce Linus the way Torvalds does, but that doesn't mean you're wrong. Anyway, however you pronounce it, Linux is pronounced the same way, but with an x. The discussion went on until he gave in and made the recording, but specifically made sure to say his name, and to emphasize "and I pronounce Linux as Linux."

I always liked that story. I have also always been amused by the people who feel the need to correct your pronunciation of "Linux" if you say it the obvious way; they even point at the audio recording as proof. But the audio recording doesn't mean what they think it does.

[1] http://www.paul.sladen.org/pronunciation/

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