Re: Nasty comments

Nick Simicich (
Fri, 26 Jul 1996 10:08:13 -0400 (EDT)

On Thu, 25 Jul 1996, Linus Torvalds wrote:

> Profanities in comments are not about _impressing_ people.
> This is all about _communication_. Profanities communicate something, be
> it good or bad, and they certainly tell you something about the mindset
> of the person who wrote the code. Nobody has been advocating _adding_
> profanities to the code, and in fact almost everybody seems to agree that
> at least parts of the swear-words should go.
> HOWEVER, and this is the big thing about this: a _wholesale_ removal of
> profanities is just stupid and small-minded. Removing profanities without
> regard to the context or the author who wrote them is a LOT worse than having
> the ugly comments there in the first place.
> IF this discussion had started with a simple comment like "umm, maybe we
> shouldn't be nasty in printed messages, and maybe we should comment out the
> 'Fucking Sun blows me' message", then I'd have been more than happy to comply
> with that, and a patch like
> - printk("Fucking sun blows me\n");
> + /* Sun _does_ blow me, but the user may not want to know about it */
> + /* printk("Fucking sun blows me\n"); */
> would probably have been accepted by me on-the-spot. Or maybe somebody could
> have emailed David (or whoever wrote that particular line of code) in private
> and tell him they found the message in rather bad taste, and ask him to
> remove it, and he probably would have. THAT is ok.
> However, it is NOT ok to just act like a mindless robot and just remove every
> profanity in sight. That way lies book-burning and "forbidden" thoughts.
> Sugarcoating it with "moral reasons", thinking _you_ have the moral right to
> suppress others, is the ultimate immorality.
> Thus endeth "Lessons in morality 101",

This makes me want to run out and have a bunch of T-Shirts made up that
say, "Fucking Sun Blows Me."

Eat a package of natto first thing in the morning and nothing worse can happen to you for the rest of the day.
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