[conspire] What's wrong with "FLOSS" (was: Penguin Day - Demysitify FLOSS for Nonprofits)

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Fri Apr 22 21:20:54 PDT 2005

Quoting Christian Einfeldt (einfeldt at earthlink.net):

> During the actual Penguin Day, the organizers, Gunner and Katrin, 
> where very charismatic and very good at staying away from acronyms 
> and explaining acronyms when someone else used them. 

I can imagine so.  Katrin is a very engaging and funny person, in

> Did they use the acronyms FLOSS or FOSS or OSS in their promotional 
> material?  Or was it just here on this list? 

Er, I thought they did -- but would have to double-check.

[Eddy Peter quotation:]

> I laughed out loud when I read this.  Thanks I needed that.
> How do you interpret this statement?  Does it refer to the 
> infiltration of English into other cultures through mass media, 
> etc.?  That's how I'm interpreting it. 

Well, my take was that it's a reference to acquisitiveness of English in
merrily borrowing vocabulary and phrases from everywhere and anywhere --
completely un-selfconsciously and in great contrast to centrally
controlled languages like French.  Most people neither know nor care
that "pyjama" is straight from Hindi, "lager mentality" from Afrikaans, 
"lime" from Urdu, "checkmate" from Farsi, "anorak" from Innuit, "scoff"
from Danish, "mannikin" from Dutch, "algebra" from Arabic, etc.  We see
a word, we think it's cool, and we snatch it without even a thank-you.

Which has helped the English language, despite its train wrecks in the
categories of orthography and grammar, develop expressive power and a
huge vocubulary.  Which, in turn -- along with the influence of radio
and air travel -- is why it is now the language of international culture
and French isn't.  

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