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Re: [PATCH] Book fixes: typos, grammar, consistency

From: Michael Sweet <mike_at_easysw.com>
Date: 2004-05-07 16:27:06 CEST

Branko Čibej wrote:
> ...
> And since when are English dictionaries defintive? There /is/ no
> reference definition of English, so if "unices" is missing from your
> online dictionaries, well, so much the worse for them, they're
> incomplete.

Well, two things: first, dictionaries exist to describe common words
used in the language, and second, "unices", "unixes", and "Unix"
are words that have not been incorporated into any published (read:
published in printed form) dictionary which might be used by a
newspaper, school, or publishing company as a source for the correct
spelling and use of the word. So while I understand that those words
are in common use in some places, they aren't in dictionaries yet.

In addition, the X/Open Group *does* own the trademark for the term
UNIX, which *is* what unices, unixes, and Unix refer to, and since
UNIX is the way the X/Open Group wants the word spelled, and since
they could, if they wanted to, sue for trademark violation for its
misuse (and in fact they are required to by law or risk losing the
trademark due to dilution) I personally would use UNIX rather than
any of the other spellings to avoid this legal issue.

That said, it appears that O'Reilly has its own spelling policy,
similar to what Pearson had until a few years ago, to use Unix as
the official spelling for UNIX. Since O'Reilly is publishing and
presumably would be responsible for defending the use in court,
my only remaining recommendation is to include a note in the
frontmatter acknowledging the UNIX trademark and that Unix will
be used to describe all UNIX and UNIX-like operating systems in
the manual. That should cover any potential trademark infringement
claims and make it clear that Unix != UNIX.

(Yes, this is a lot of legal BS, but we live in a litigious world)

Michael Sweet, Easy Software Products           mike at easysw dot com
Printing Software for UNIX                       http://www.easysw.com
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Received on Fri May 7 16:29:17 2004

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