Phoenux, Phoneux, Phonux?

Jon "maddog" Hall maddog at
Mon Jun 11 22:57:53 CEST 2012

On Mon, 2012-06-11 at 15:30 -0500, Harley Laue wrote:
> On Mon, Jun 11, 2012 at 1:15 AM, Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller
> <hns at> wrote:
> > Linux is pronounced in english as "Line-ugs" (/ˈlɪnəks/  [1]). I.e. it should be "phon-ugs".
> > [1]
> Just as an FYI from a native speaker, /ˈlɪnəks/ would be lin-əks With
> "lin" which sounds like bin or the proper name Lynn

Except that Linus' name is pronounced 'Lee-nus', not "Lin-us" or
"Lie-nus".  Therefore if the kernel was named after him, it would have
been pronounced "Lee-nux".

As the various groups went back and forth with the pronunciations of
"Linux", Linus created a .au file (Ogg had not been developed yet) and
put it in the kernel sources.  You can listen to that audio file,
converted to .ogg, at the Wikipedia site.

Seemingly one of the vast numbers of people could say "Lee-nux" even
with the audio file, so most either called it "Lin-nux" or "Lie-nux".

After a while Linus said "I do not care what you call it as long as you
use it." and things settled down for a while.

One day, after Linus had moved to California and was working for
Transmeta, I phoned him, and he answered the phone "Lye-nus".
I said "Lea-nus that is not even your name."  He said '"I know, but
nobody in California can say "Lea-nus", so I am "Lye-nus"'.

And so it goes.  While it is nice that everyone pronounce the name
correctly, the most important thing is that they use your project,
including being able to find it using a search engine.

Warmest regards,

maddog (all lower case, one word)

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