Linux and Lucy

by Chris McGinty of

Hey everybody. It’s me Chris,
your favourite questioner of pronunciations. Today, I’d like to question
something that I should have questioned a long time ago. In fact, I think I
did, but as I don’t have it in writing I can’t really direct you to my previous

When Linux was first a thing, I
was pronouncing it with a long I, as in “Line Ux.” It made sense to me. It was
an open source operating system, meaning that others could go through and edit
lines of code to help improve it. Also, I so much wanted to write something
about it and call it “Linux and Lucy” after the brother and sister in Peanuts.
I was a little resistant when
people started explaining to me that it was Linux, which was pronounced more
like Annie Lennox than Benjamin Linus. The problem was that if everybody else
was convinced that it was pronounced like “Lennox” and bent like Beckham…
sorry, that didn’t make any sense… then no one was going to get my title. They
would be like, “Lennox and Lucy?”
The next step of this is that
there is a rumour that the creator of Linux joked that he names his projects
after himself, explaining why he call his more recent project Git. It’s a
self-deprecation joke suggesting that he’s a git. That’s not the important part
The important part is his name is
Linus Torvalds. Linus! Meaning that I wasn’t far off. I’m still a little bit
wrong, but not far off. These jif pronouncing Lennox pronouncing Bjork, it
rhymes with jerk, jerks are completely wrong though.
What I got wrong was that it has
nothing to do with lines of code. And the long I pronunciation of Linus is more
of an Americanization of the name, which he pronounces as Lee-noos. This means
that Linux’s creator pronounces the software’s name as Lee-nooks.
I guess at the end of the day, I
really don’t care how people pronounce it. I’m just glad I finally got to use
the damn title.
Chris McGit-ny is a blogger who
is still tired of all these misprouncinations…

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