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Flavor vs. Flavour 925

An anonymous reader writes "A recent flamewar ensued on the Linux kernel mailing list, this time debating the proper spelling of 'flavor', or is it 'flavour'? Even Linux creator Linus Torvalds joined the fray with some rather humorous comments. For the most part, it sounds like spellings will stay as they are, but it makes for an entertaining read."
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Flavor vs. Flavour

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  • by Empiric ( 675968 ) * on Sunday August 10, 2003 @09:34PM (#6662225)
    I suggest we all, in a show of universal brotherhood and cultural tolerance, join hands and announce to the world:

    Linux: It gots much flavah!

    • I'd say we should kill this thing now...
    • by kurosawdust ( 654754 ) on Sunday August 10, 2003 @09:47PM (#6662299)
      I'll see your +5 Funny and raise you a -1 Troll...

      Marklar: It gots much marklar!

      now everyone can be happy (until it gets to the HOWTOs: "plug the marklar into the marklar, but whatever you do, DO NOT plug it into the marklar.")

  • That's no flamewar (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FrenZon ( 65408 ) * on Sunday August 10, 2003 @09:34PM (#6662229) Homepage
    Is it just me, or is that not a flamewar at all? Flamewars are all-out textual brawls; this appears to be some mild discussion with the most offensive line of text referring to being born in the US as 'unfortunate'. And after that outbreak, the situation mostly resolved itself.

    OH NO! HNNGG! BURRRN! TAKE THAT! These guys are obviously flame-war masters, with the powers to bring forth Derek Smart [] levels of binary cacophony.

  • by dpu ( 525864 ) on Sunday August 10, 2003 @09:36PM (#6662238) Homepage Journal
    If I'm not mistaken (and I'm drawing on Grade 2 or 3 here), "flavour" is the proper English spelling (UK and Canada and Australia), whereas "flavor" is the common spelling (US). There are lots of words like that, including colour (color), centre (center), and idiot (ijit).
    • You must be one of them!"

      <!--Maybe I should've used the groening tag above? Let's argue about it.-->
    • by TedCheshireAcad ( 311748 ) <> on Sunday August 10, 2003 @09:57PM (#6662354) Homepage
      Actually, this patch was done strategically.

      Apparently, there are a high volume of European developers at SCO, and they evidently own the copyright on the spelling of words with -ou insted of the American English -o.

      This is just keeping Linux safe from yet another threat.

      • Actually, SCO is a US firm so I think that it is in fact a horrible conspiracy destined to give SCO more footing in its lawsuit by saying that if Linux, a kernel developed by an European didn't copy SCO's copyrighted code they wouldn't have the US spelling. Thus, by changing the spelling to US they can claim ownership of more code in 2.6.

        We need to stop this conspiracy immediately and translate the whole kernel sources to finnish to put to the ground any allegation of copying!
    • Common? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by EmbeddedJanitor ( 597831 ) on Sunday August 10, 2003 @11:01PM (#6662626)
      flavor" is the common spellingCommon? Surely flavour would be the most common usage? I expect more people in the world use English rather than 'merican. Basically the American empire uses American (flavor) and the British Commonwealth (inc India) uses English (flavour).
      • Re:Common? (Score:5, Funny)

        by yomegaman ( 516565 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @01:10AM (#6663161)
        The only time I see it spelled "flavour" is in British recipe books. As in, "boil until all flavour and texture has vanished". :-)
  • sounds like 2 things going on..
    1. most of the original code was written in europe, so they use many european spellings, and
    2. changing spellings globally often breaks things, so it's something they just don't do anymore.
  • by telstar ( 236404 ) on Sunday August 10, 2003 @09:37PM (#6662250)
    Next week will we be covering Linus's trip to the bathroom?
  • Goodbye Karma... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JayBlalock ( 635935 ) on Sunday August 10, 2003 @09:37PM (#6662252)
    I just have to say, this is possibly the saddest thing I've ever seen posted to /. in the 2 years I've been coming here. Is this TRULY the only news we have to post? A semantic debate over one alternate spelling? (-1, Troll...)
  • by Faust7 ( 314817 ) on Sunday August 10, 2003 @09:38PM (#6662254) Homepage
    It's an article about Torvalds' offhand comments about a flame war about the spelling of a non-critical word in the kernel tree.

    Man, if I'd only subscribed I could have seen this way early!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 10, 2003 @09:38PM (#6662256)
    Even Linux creator Linus Torvalds joined the fray with some rather humorous comments.

    ...shouldn't that be humourous?

  • Here you go... (Score:3, Informative)

    by telstar ( 236404 ) on Sunday August 10, 2003 @09:39PM (#6662263)
    flavor [] vs. flavour [].
    • This can only officially be resolved with a Slashdot poll.

      Chant with me, poll, poll, poll...
    • Re:Here you go... (Score:3, Informative)

      by Snoopy77 ( 229731 )
      Source: The American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language

      Read: The American Heritage(R) Dictionary of our version of the English Language
    • Re:Here you go... (Score:5, Informative)

      by EvanED ( 569694 ) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [denave]> on Sunday August 10, 2003 @10:50PM (#6662574)
      The source there is the American Heritage Dictionary as someone else pointed out. A look at the OED reveals something very interesting: the spelling flavor may be older than flavour. If I read the entry and help sections right, "flavor" was introduced in the 14th century while "flavour" wasn't around until the 15th.

      Here are the relavent lines from the entry:
      "Forms: . 4- flavor, 5 Sc. flewoure, 5- flavour. . 6 Sc. fleoure, fleure, fleowre, fleware, -ere, 8 Sc. flaur."

      and the help file:
      "Variant forms are the alternative spellings in which a word has been found over the centuries. Centuries are given in abbreviated form in the Second Edition. For instance, 4-8 should be read as 14th to 18th centuries, and 1 means before 1100 AD."

      The above is the best guess as to what the numbers mean in the entry itself, but that would mean that the other forms which look like Old English would be more recent. Also, in the quotations given "flavour" precedes "flavor" in time. So I'm confused.

      Anyway, the entry for "favour, favor" says "As in other words with the same ending, the spelling with -our is preferred in the British Isles, while in the U.S. -or is more common."
  • by kfx ( 603703 ) on Sunday August 10, 2003 @09:41PM (#6662269)
    Here's the real question: how many instances of the word are in the code/texts--and by extension, how many bytes will using the US spelling shave off the final size?
  • by Faust7 ( 314817 ) on Sunday August 10, 2003 @09:41PM (#6662271) Homepage
    "A recent flamewar ensued on the Microsoft executive mailing list, this time debating the proper spelling of 'Linux'. Is it 'Linux,' 'GNU/Linux', 'cancer,' 'our biggest threat', or 'our second-biggest threat'?"
  • You know... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Impotent_Emperor ( 681409 ) on Sunday August 10, 2003 @09:47PM (#6662300)
    In the fourth grade, I read War of the Worlds, in which theater was spelled "theatre". A few days after having finished it, I had to take a spelling test. One of the words was "theater", only I spelled it the other way, so it was marked wrong and I did not get a one hundred on the test. To this day, I hold that one test as a grudge against the British.
    • There was a VA sponsored contest on IRC a few years back. One of the questions was, "Where does Alan Cox live?" I said, "United Kingdom" and someone else after me said, "Wales."

      They said he was correct. I even responded after the contest complaining that Wales wasn't even a fucking country, but was part of the United Kingdom (Just like England isn't a country.) The response, "That's what it says on my card, so you are wrong."

      American's (I am American) can't even spell aluminium correctly. :)
    • The Real Grudge (Score:3, Insightful)

      In the fourth grade, I read War of the Worlds, in which theater was spelled "theatre". A few days after having finished it, I had to take a spelling test. One of the words was "theater", only I spelled it the other way, so it was marked wrong and I did not get a one hundred on the test. To this day, I hold that one test as a grudge against the British.

      If I were in your place, I'd hold a grudge against tests.
    • At Pete's Bar and Grill, you'll pay about 10 bucks for a beer, burger and fries. At Petro's Cocktail Grille, you'll pay about a hundred bucks for a tiny glass of white wine and a plate with a single sprig of parsely in some artistically swirled sauce combination.

      There are also false "grilles" which still serve beer, burgers, and fries but are cleaner and with better decor to throw you off. You'll find a lot of guys in ties in them.
  • I got it! (Score:3, Funny)

    by MoeMoe ( 659154 ) on Sunday August 10, 2003 @09:48PM (#6662306)
    How about we settle on "it tastes good"...
    Honestly, a debate like this cannot be resolved in a flamewar, a spelling bee on the other hand....
  • armour

    Now there is a good word, and a good spelling.
    I'm an American, but spelling mostly affected by playing a Swedish mud... 4080

  • Hello, this is Leenoos Toorvahlds and I spell flavor, f-l-a-v-o-u-r.
  • tyhere was a humorous discussion involoving the difference between :

    license and licence
  • by Sir Rhosys ( 84459 ) on Sunday August 10, 2003 @10:07PM (#6662392)
    This sort of disagreement can only be resolved with a fork.

  • by Lord_Dweomer ( 648696 ) on Sunday August 10, 2003 @10:09PM (#6662402) Homepage
    This is a story.......debating the spelling of the word......posted on Slashdot? Boy are you preaching to the wrong crowd! Typical spellings of the word in question from Slashdotters would most likely include the following:

    3.Flirst Porst

  • by jpetts ( 208163 ) on Sunday August 10, 2003 @10:13PM (#6662426)
    In the original post...

    It changes all occurrences of 'flavour' to 'flavor' in the complete tree;
    I've just comiled all affected files (that is, the config resulting from
    make allyesconfig minus already broken stuff) succesfully on i386.
  • by onco_p53 ( 231322 ) on Sunday August 10, 2003 @10:19PM (#6662446) Homepage Journal
    The issue of American spelling of various words, has been of great interest to me this year, as I simultaneously start to write my PhD thesis and also learn the German language.

    I live in New Zealand, yes one of those countries colonised by the great British empire. Here of course we write with the British spelling (ie. English spelling used by the rest of the world). However this is under threat from the ever prevalent American spelling, mostly due to the internet, and things like Microsoft Word and e-mail spell checkers defaulting to the US spelling (Yes I know how to change it but very many people do not - Actually I use LaTeX so this is a moot point for me). Teachers used to mark this alternative spelling quite harshly, but now I feel they are giving up.

    This raised a few issues, for me mostly when I find information on the internet I am conscious to try with both spellings. I got caught out in Bugzilla with this.

    Interestingly the changes the US have made to the language not only include spelling changes, But also grammatical []. An example is "to dream" the American is: "dreamed" whilst the British is: "dreamt". These grammatical differences are seen in all American movies and TV shows shown around the world.

    I am not American bashing in any way, but these issues are non-trivial.
  • by MobyTurbo ( 537363 ) on Sunday August 10, 2003 @10:27PM (#6662488)
    There are a few places where this is a real problem. Such as this:
    rpc_authflavor_t authflavour;
    As you can see, one part of this header is spelled with a u and the other without. This could create some developer confusion.
    • rpc_authflavor_t authflavour;
      As you can see, one part of this header is spelled with a u and the other without. This could create some developer
      Not a header, just a c file I believe. And the author quite correctly pointed out that had he said:
      rpc_authflavor_t f;
      Then no-one would have noticed or cared. It's a variable name so it really doesn't matter if the spelling is not 100% consistent.
  • Easy to resolve. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sbaker ( 47485 ) on Sunday August 10, 2003 @10:42PM (#6662539) Homepage
    As a Brit working in the US, I have this debate over colour vs color all the time.

    There is a resolution to it. The 'recognised' standard for American English is Websters - and it allows both flavor and flavour (and color and colour). The recognised standard for British English is the Oxford English dictionary - and it recognises ONLY flavour and colour.

    Hence, the most compatible choice is Flavour and Colour since those should be recognisable on both sides of the atlantic where Flavor and Color are most definitely mis-spellings of British English.

    Case solved!
    • by dmeranda ( 120061 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:03AM (#6662930) Homepage
      The 'recognised' standard for American English is Websters

      As a US citizen, I for one don't recognize(-se) Webster's as my standard...I much prefer the New Oxford American Dictionary, (2001). Webster's just seems a little to casual and not as rigorously researched and edited. Besides, the N.O.A.D. is from the same organization as the Oxford English Dictionary, the British standard, so it is IMHO in the best position to illustrate the American vs. British language variants.

      Which, BTW, the New Oxford American Dictionary specifies flavor only, with a parenthetical note that the British spelling happens to be flavour. But in American English, flavour is not an acceptable spelling.

      On a side note, the web community seems to need help with their spelling too. Consider:

      • "speling". From Apache, the module which auto-corrects typos in URLs.
      • "referer". From the HTTP protocol, this misspelling was unfortunately never caught until it was too late to a footnote was placed in the RFC explaining it.
  • BSD? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Poeir ( 637508 ) <> on Sunday August 10, 2003 @10:44PM (#6662549) Journal
    Isn't this more or less how the different BSDs got started?
  • by eidechse ( 472174 ) on Sunday August 10, 2003 @10:45PM (#6662552)
    "I respect a man who knows how to spell a word more than one way."
  • by Captain Rotundo ( 165816 ) on Sunday August 10, 2003 @10:53PM (#6662587) Homepage
    You get arguments like this all over the net. Although I read this thread and save for a couple of jokes it was not anything otehr than a brief patch discussion with no arguing or flaming.

    But this really bothers me, I am american so I naturally leave off the u, but it doesn't matter to me when people add a "u" or reverse an "er" or switch a "z" and an "s" or say lorry.

    Why do so many americans act like some foriegner is destroying their language whenever this happens? And why do so many British English speakers smuggly act like their spelling or phrasing is clearly more intelligent, refined or whatever? Do you all act the same way to non-english words? you have to assume that spelling will either homogenize, or that multiple spellings will become universally accepted, with the internet bringing all these english speakers together and whatnot. I recently heard a piece on the radio about South Africa which made the claim that it was becoming much more common for youths to intermix various words from the various languages in the country, because since the end of apartheid people are being brought together much more.

    Of course recently I've been listening to the BBC World Service at night and it did take a few days to get used to the reporters fondness for the word "row" as in "argument" which I had never heard before, not to mention a use of the term "washing-up liquid" that I found quite humorous :)
  • by Vellmont ( 569020 ) on Sunday August 10, 2003 @11:13PM (#6662697) Homepage
    So does anyone find that the American spellings of these words are becoming more prevalent? One example I've always found interesting is the English billion vs the American billion. The english is 10^12, where the American billion is 10^9. It gets more screwy at trillion, where an English trillion is 10^18, while an American trillion is 10^12.

    The point of mentioning this is that from what I've heard the American definitions of billion, trillion, etc are becoming more popular in the UK.
    Being an American I've always thought the English definitions were inconsistant, since they have a seperate name for 10^0, 10^3, 10^6, but then suddenly start only giving seperate names at 10^6 intervals.

    Obviously the spelling of flavour vs flavor is fairly irrelevant, and doesn't have the same issues as the definition of billion does. But I'm still curious if spellings have that same bleed-over factor.
  • by bangzilla ( 534214 ) on Sunday August 10, 2003 @11:32PM (#6662784) Journal
    YUou want to talk about spelling? Go ask Dennis Richie about the spelling of creat.........
  • Gee-zous Ker-iced (Score:5, Interesting)

    by davmoo ( 63521 ) on Sunday August 10, 2003 @11:44PM (#6662830)
    First we spent years of time and hundreds of man-hours debating whether it was pronounced lie-nucks, lee-nuks, or li-nuks.

    Now this.

    If we all spent this time coding and debugging instead of debating crap like this that simply does not matter, Linux would be the first totally error and bug free OS on the planet.
  • by Tsu Dho Nimh ( 663417 ) <abacaxi@hot[ ] ['mai' in gap]> on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:08AM (#6662951)
    Or should that be horrour?
  • British is better. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rokzy ( 687636 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @02:31AM (#6663428)
    British spelling makes use of a consistent prefix-stem-suffix system to build words.

    this makes it possible to work out general meanings of words if you don't know the exact definition.


    --common stem "centr"

    --common stem "theatr"

    the American spelling may seem simple, but it is very shallow. Individual words may be spelt more like how they sound (or seem to sound), but the relationships between words are lost.

    consider the US spelling of "center" with the stem "cent"; this suggests a meaning to do with the number 100.

    this is probably why the US comes up with retarded stuff like phonics?
  • The solution (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Domini ( 103836 ) <> on Monday August 11, 2003 @06:15AM (#6663984) Journal
    I think grep and gcc need to be changed.

    Just like case-insensitivity I think grep should have a non-strict English match setting. This could do a match on both colour and color if either is found.

    Perhaps even an option on the compilers? (But this is more dangerous, and can be acompanied by compiler warnings...)

    Diversity is a good thing, right?
  • Where Do You Live? (Score:3, Informative)

    by reallocate ( 142797 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @07:44AM (#6664286)
    "Flavour" is the British spelling, "flavor" is the American spelling.

  • by hesiod ( 111176 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @01:01PM (#6666956)
    After almost every post on this thread, I find my self shaking my head, saying "who cares." Then I realized that I have read four pages of "stuff I don't care about." /. has killed my brain by making me smarter (if not more inquisitive).
  • by StikyPad ( 445176 ) on Tuesday August 12, 2003 @11:09AM (#6675496) Homepage
    is, of course, flavxx0rs. But you knew that.

"Pull the wool over your own eyes!" -- J.R. "Bob" Dobbs