GNU Privacy Guard

Anand Kumria wildfire at
Fri Feb 20 15:52:00 CET 1998

On Thu, 19 Feb 1998, BeeP wrote:

> Also as a marketeer, I must insist you need GPG to stand for a name that
> MEANS something to native-English speakers rather than merely native
> Unix-speakers. For regular English-speakers, a name conveying information
> about the product is imperative. As in:
> Good Privacy Guard
> Great Privacy Guard
> etc.

Or perhaps Gratuituously named Privacy Guard?

Naming your program what you _want_ it to be (Great, Good, etc.) is
typical of marketing driods; I thought you wanted a name that conveyed
someting about the product anyway? `Good', `Great' (and similiar) don't
for me. You might as well call it SPG (Supercalafragalisticexpaladioucious
Privacy Guard ;) ... that'd "convey something" not only about the product
but the person(s) who named it.

> Please skip the cutesy-poo "gnu" name. Since I see "Gnu" everywhere in the
> Linix  world, I am pretty certain "gnu" means something special there. To
> the rest of us native-English speakers "gnu" means an animal at a zoo. Your
> product has the opportunity to be useful far beyond the
> through-the-looking-glass world* of Linux. Please give it a name that will
> provide information to every-day computer users.

GNU (it is an acronym, hence the capitalisation) does have a special
meaning. But not just in the Linux world, in the Unix world too. If you
aren't interested, or haven't taken the time to find out that meaning that
is your problem (<URL:> is a good place to start).

> *In the Linux world, a popular graphics programs is called G.I.M.P. I
> haven't a clue what the IVLA means. The article praising it to the heavens
> in Linux Journal never explained the name. Since it's the engineer-named
> world of Linux it could be something as information-free as "Gimp Is My
> Product." My point? In the U.S., "gimp" is an EXTREMELY insulting word for
> a disabled person. What kind of marketing is that?

Are we still stuck in the parochial US marketing state of mind (where
everyone really wishes they could be one of the good 'ole boys)? GIMP is
an acronym (see <URL:> for details), and over here a
"gimp" is a trimming of silk normally used with curtains. What kind of
marketing is it to cater for the `namby-pamby' US based users? 

The problem is that, for you, "gimp" has negative connotations, oh well,
too bad, so sad. If your connotations were widespread throughout the
world, then there probably would have been an outcry, the fact that there
wasn't indicates your connotations aren't.


 `When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to
  its subjects, "This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are
  forbidden to know," the end result is tyranny and oppression no matter how
  holy the motives' -- Robert A Heinlein, "If this goes on --"

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