Need cleanup advice for multiline string

Steven D'Aprano steve at
Tue Aug 18 14:59:43 CEST 2009

On Tue, 18 Aug 2009 13:36:49 +0200, Jean-Michel Pichavant wrote:

> MRAB wrote:
>> Carl Banks wrote:
>>> On Aug 17, 10:03 am, Jean-Michel Pichavant <jeanmic... at>
>>> wrote:
>>>> I'm no English native, but I already heard women/men referring to a
>>>> group as "guys", no matter that group gender configuration. It's even
>>>> used for group composed exclusively of women. Moreover it looks like
>>>> a *very* friendly form, so there is really nothing to worry about it.
>>> I like how being very friendly means calling people after a guy who
>>> tried to blow up the English Parliament.
>> Guy Fawkes adopted the name Guido while fighting for the Spanish in the
>> Low Countries:
> I didn't get Carl's reference. The only thing I know about blowing the
> parliament is from the movie V for Vendetta (no comment please !). Now
> thanks to your link:
> "In 18th-century England, the term "guy" was used to refer to an effigy
> <> of Fawkes, which would be paraded
> around town by children on the anniversary of the conspiracy"
> Well, my knowledge is much too low to get this kind of reference from
> the start. :-/

"Guy" is an old English name, related to the old French name "Gy" and 
Italian "Guido". It's originally derived from the Old German for "wood" 
or "warrior".

After Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the English Parliament house, and was 
executed, the British government encouraged people to burn effigies of 
him. These became known as "guys", which eventually became slang for an 
ugly man, which later became slang for any man, and in recent years, any 

So the irony is that the friendly term "guys", referring to a group of 
people, is derived from the name of an 18th century religious terrorist.

One can only wonder whether in 200 years time people will walk into the 
office and say "Hey you osamas, they're giving away free donuts down 
stairs, anyone want some?"


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