Phoenux, Phoneux, Phonux?

Harley Laue losinggeneration at
Mon Jun 11 23:16:59 CEST 2012

On Mon, Jun 11, 2012 at 3:57 PM, Jon "maddog" Hall <maddog at> wrote:
> 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)

I concede that you're right about Linus and Linux. The fact remains
for phoenux would still hold since it's pronounced with the same long
e sound as in Linus' name. So fee-nəks (or fee-nux) and not phon-ugs.

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