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Common pronunciations of Linux directories, commands, etc

Discussion in 'LF Linux Articles' started by Rob, Sep 23, 2016.

  1. Rob

    Rob Administrator Staff Member

    Over the course of the 20 years that I've used Linux, i've said and heard a number of ways that people pronounce things and think I have a pretty good idea of the most accepted ways to pronounce and say things when dealing with Linux systems.

    When you're on a conference call at work or just dealing with colleagues face to face you want to make sure you know what they're talking about.

    I overheard two co-workers (Joe and Scott) talking the other day. Joe said "cat proc cpuinfo". Scott wasn't getting it so Joe said "no.. no, type cat slash proc slash cpuinfo" and eventually got on the keyboard himself.

    When asking someone to do something.. you don't say the slash..
    e.g. "list out the etsy hosts file" or "tail var log messages"

    One thing you want to do is learn how to pronounce each of the top directories in Linux. Some of the ones I hear differently from people are:

    /etc: etsy (like the website) Not "E T C" or "et cetera"
    /lib: lib.. rhymes with rib. Not libe.
    /lib64: see above
    /mnt: mount
    /proc: prock.. rhymes with rock
    /sbin: s bin
    /selinux: S E Linux
    /tmp: temp
    /var: rhymes with jar
    /usr: user

    Other things i've heard pronounced differently than the majority of how people pronounce them:

    Linux: most people say it with a short i like spin.
    MySQL: most people say "My S Q L", not "my sequel"
    fstab: F stab (some say F S tab)
    initrd: init R D
    fsck: F S C K - or FS check
    chown: as one syllable.. rhymes with 'own'
    chmod: as one syllable.. rhymes with 'nod'
    ls: L S (ell ess)
    sudo: rhymes with voodoo
    vim: rhymes with gym
    vi: vee eye
    emacs: rhymes with junk :cool:

    List out your additions/experiences below!
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2016
    Bob Loblaw and blackneos940 like this.
  2. rz3300

    rz3300 Member

    This is a nice list. I would like to think that I am pretty good at recognizing them and using them well, but I know that I still look like a fool sometimes, and probably even more than that. I can think of a couple times when it has held me back a little bit, but this will certainly help, so thank you.
  3. bosconian

    bosconian Member

    Hey @Rob english is not my main language so I've got to ask, how is it different to say "F stab" compared to "F S tab"?
  4. atanere

    atanere Active Member

    F Stab = eff stab
    F S tab = eff ess tab
  5. Aree Wongwanlee

    Aree Wongwanlee Active Member

    How about the very word 'Linux' itself? Do you say 'li-nuhx' or do you say 'li-nooks'? I think I have heard both pronunciations being used. Just want to know how people around the world pronounce it.
  6. Clair02

    Clair02 Member

    Personally, I'm yet to hear how anyone else pronounces these words seeing as all my lessons so far have been in text only. I made up my own pronunciation from the way the words looked. I just guessed what they sounded like.
  7. Scotsgeek

    Scotsgeek Member

    Are you trying to start a flame war??? I will take emacs over vi/vim any day of the week!
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2016
    jeremy, KenJackson, Rob and 1 other person like this.
  8. atanere

    atanere Active Member

    Oh boy... here we go again! LOL :D:D:D
    jeremy, Rob and Scotsgeek like this.
  9. Scotsgeek

    Scotsgeek Member

    Hey! Rob asked for it! ;^)
    jeremy, Rob and atanere like this.
  10. KenJackson

    KenJackson Member

    I thoroughly empathize with this. I don't know why, but it seems impossible to just say what to do when it comes to the command line. Maybe GUIs, led by Windows, have programmed people to stop thinking when they see a command prompt.
    Rob likes this.
  11. Amdac

    Amdac New Member

    Hmm, am I incorrect in pronouncing this as "soo doh"? I used to laugh when I heard "soo doo" in youtube videos.
    atanere likes this.
  12. atanere

    atanere Active Member

    Yeah, I guess I say it wrong too. It seems like "sudo" should rhyme with "judo." And if I were writing a song I'm sure it would go something like that! :D

    Of course "sudo" means, "Hey! SuperUser, DO (this command for me)." So "soo doo" makes sense.

    Maybe I'll change eventually. At least I quit saying, "lie-nucks" a long time ago. :rolleyes:

  13. atanere

    atanere Active Member

    More things I guess I say incorrectly...

    Ubuntu should be oo-boon-too (but I say oo-bun-too).
    MATE desktop should be mah-tay (but I say mate, like checkmate).

    And I still don't know the best way to say SUSE or openSUSE!

    Maybe I'll never learn after all. :confused:
  14. KenJackson

    KenJackson Member

    What about plain old SQL? I always say "S Q L", but I notice a lot of people say "sequel".
  15. Scotsgeek

    Scotsgeek Member

    Does it really matter how we pronounce these names, words, and acronyms?

    In the immortal words of Gilbert & Sullivan, in "Ruddigore":
  16. atanere

    atanere Active Member

    Why, sure it matters! @Rob started a thread about it, so it's got to be important! :D
    Scotsgeek and Rob like this.
  17. Scotsgeek

    Scotsgeek Member

    Oh, I don't know! @Rob lost some serious cred when he trashed emacs! ;^)
    jeremy, Rob, KenJackson and 1 other person like this.
  18. atanere

    atanere Active Member

    Oh boy... here we go again! LOL :D:D:D
    jeremy, Rob and Scotsgeek like this.
  19. ronnieRon

    ronnieRon Member

    That is interesting. I never realized so many of these I do myself. I never say the slash when spelling out a command to anyone. I kinda assume that the slash is implied anyway. Also,I spell it like My S Q L. I have always been pronouncing emacs as e-macs and fstab as F- stab.

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