Saturday, June 15, 2019

How to pronounce FreeDOS

On June 29, the FreeDOS Project will officially turn 25 years old! That's a major milestone by any reckoning, and to celebrate we're making June our FreeDOS celebration month.
When Linus Torvalds released Linux, he didn't originally name it Linux. But the person who hosted the original releases of his new Unix kernel put it in a folder called "linux" and so the name stuck.

But there was a problem. How to pronounce "linux"? I pronounced it "Lie-nucks" until I attended a Linux user meetup and heard others pronounce it "Lih-nucks." There was some online debate about how to correctly say "Linux" until Linus himself settled the debate around 1998 by recording a brief audio clip of himself saying "Hello, this is Linus Torvalds, and I pronounce Linux as Lee-nooks!" And so the debate was settled.

Except that a lot of people had already grown used to saying it the way they wanted. These days, I still hear "Lih-nucks" among most users.

A year later, I was testing a new microphone, and decided to record the test phrase "Hello, this is Jim Hall, and I pronounce FreeDOS as FreeDOS." I never thought people would pronounce FreeDOS any other way, I just thought it was a funny phrase to say to test a microphone.

I posted the audio clip to our site on ibiblio. It's been hiding there for years, I don't know if many people have downloaded it. You can find it on ibiblio. I hope you enjoy it.
There's lots more history to share, and throughout June I hope to write about FreeDOS history and various milestones. Please join me in making June our FreeDOS celebration month!

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