GNU -- G'no way...

John Chambers,,,781-647-1813 jc at
Tue Feb 22 14:37:52 EST 2000

John Abreau wrote:
	> I was lecturing to my students yesterday and was asked 'what does GNU
	> stand for?'. My response was the standard line -- "Gnu Not Unix."
	> My English Majors (students) said, 'You cannot include the name of the
	> definition in the definition'.
	> I responded, "Programmers can...ever hear of recursion?"
	> My question... was I being a smart S or a revolutionary? OR!! Am I wrong
	> entirely?

	Consider the source; the objection was from an English major, i.e. a
	Mundane. He's not one of us, so it's not surprising if he doesn't get it. 

	My favorite has to do with commas and quotes. Due to typographic
	considerations, commas that functionally belong outside a set of quotes
	often get stuck inside quotes to make the printed output more visually
	appealing. English majors then declare that this is how it should be,
	regardless of how it mangles the parsing of a sentence, and will whine
	that it's wrong to put the comma outside where it really belongs, even
	when typography isn't an issue.

One of my favorite rules of writing is:

   Don't use commas, which aren't necessary.

In any case, there is the definition from the original Hacker's

   recursion: n. See recursion.

Methinks the problem is merely a student who is humor-impaired.
So  far,  medical  research doesn't seem to have come up with a
treatment for this crippling disability.

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