The Modernization of Emacs: terminology buffer and keybinding
dkixk at earthlink.net
Sat Sep 29 01:27:04 CEST 2007
Giorgos Keramidas wrote:
> On Fri, 22 Jun 2007 23:08:02 -0000, nebulous99 at gmail.com wrote:
>> So much for the "free" in "free software". If you can't actually use
>> it without paying money, whether for the software or for some book, it
>> isn't really free, is it?
> Please do not confuse the term 'free' in 'free software' with 'gratis'.
> 'Gratis', i.e. 'lacking a monetary price tag' is something *very*
> different from the meaning of 'free' in 'free software'.
If you were referring to the "free" in "free Mumia Abu Jamal", I would
agree with you. I don't think anyone would imagine that this phrase
meant that someone was going to get Mumia Abu Jamal gratis. Like it or
not, "free software" referring to "free as in beer" is probably the most
common interpretation of the phrase for a native English speaker.
Admittedly, I do not have a "scientific" survey handy. However, I just
asked my wife--who has absolutely no interest in anything related to
programming, has never heard of the FSF, Eric Raymond, nor the
disagreement between those two camps, nor probably will she ever have an
interest--what she thinks I mean when I say "free software". After
getting over the "why are you asking such a stupid question" phase, the
first thing that jumped to her mind was "free as in beer". You can
stamp, growl, swagger, spit, curse, and bluster all you want on this
point, but millions of English speakers are going to ignore you anyway.
Lucky for most of them, they do not have to suffer the lectures of
sociopolitically motivated language mavens trying to "correct" them from
the error of mistaking the meaning of a phrase to be the normal meaning
of that phrase.
More information about the Python-list