How to Speak Linux


I didn’t even stop to imagine that people pronounced Linux commands differently until many years ago when I heard a co-worker use the word “vie” (as in “The teams will vie for the title”) for what I’d always pronounced “vee I.” It was a moment I’ll never forget.

… Unix commands evolved with a number of different pronunciation rules. The names of some commands (like “cat”) were derived from words (like “concatenate”) and were pronounced as if they were words, too (some actually are). Others derived from phrases like “cpio,” which pull together the idea of copying (cp) and I/O. Others are simply abbreviations, such as “cd” for “change directory.” 

Some commands are basically pronounced as if we are spelling them out loud — like “el es” for ls and “pee double-u dee” for pwd, while others are read like “chown” (rhyming with “clown”) as if they are words. And since many Linux users might first be exposed to the Linx command line on some old PC that they decided to put to better use, they may never hear other people saying Linux commands out loud. So, in today’s post, I’m going to explain how I pronounce Linux commands and how I’ve heard some others going in different directions.

Read more at Network World

Learn more about Linux through the free “Introduction to Linux” course from The Linux Foundation and edX.