GNU Privacy Guard

BeeP beep at
Thu Feb 19 22:10:17 CET 1998

At 03:52 PM 2/20/98 +1100, Anand Kumria wrote:
>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).

So let me see if I've got this straight: in order to understand the name of
a product, for example:

GNU Privacy Guard

I need to go to some URL and educate myself? And otherwise I have a
problem? And that is what you think of as marketing? What are you, a
college professor?

And by the way, the URL you sent indicates that GNU stands for "GNU's Not
Unix". Do you think  that's an informative acronym? Do you think GNU is a
good marketing acronym? Even if one is marketing to people other than
Unix/Linux geeks? If not, why did you waste the bits to send the URL to the
list? Did you think I wouldn't bother to look?

>> *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)? 

I am from West Virginia, where people actually refer to each other as "good
ole' boys." And I don't have a clue what you are ranting about in this last
paragraph. I left West Virginia as soon as I found out we were allowed to

>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? 

Smart marketing.

Wherever "over here" is, what does the word "wog" mean? Here in the U.S.
not one in 10 knows what a "wog" is. But no marketeer in his right mind
would use the word "wog" in an American product name. It would just be
stupid marketing. Like calling one's software Gimp.

>The problem is that, for you, "gimp" has negative connotations, oh well,
>too bad, so sad. 

Frankly I use the word all the time, along with 22 other politically
incorrect words. But not when I make up product names. Anyway, it's not me
to whom the Gimp people are trying to market their product. 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.

An outcry? What sort of outcry? To whom? And by whom? Is there a "Linux
outcry department"? How about a "Linux complaint department"? That would
really be cool, because I have a LOT of complaints.

>And you argue that `Good', `Great' contains more "useful data" than say

Yes. The words both refer to Pretty Good Privacy in ways that make great
marketing sense. GNU makes sense only if one is targeting the 1 in 1000
(10,000? 100,000? 1,000,000?) who knows what it means.

Bill Powell

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