Subject: Re: DRAFT FAQ: Free vs. Open
From: Rick Moen <>
Date: Thu, 10 Jan 2008 14:44:58 -0800

Quoting Philippe Verdy (

> Anyway, the term "liberty" exists in English, and the computing industry has
> created much enough new terminology. I can't understand why the term "free"
> was deprecated in favour of "libre" (yes, it's the French term, but its is
> the same root understood in English "liberty" or "liberation" in English and
> French, or "libertad" in Spanish).

I've been known to write and say "free (libre) as opposed to free
(gratis)", but both parenthetical terms come across as, at best,
distractingly Latinate to English-speaking ears -- such that one's means
of expression gets in the way of the message.

(For amusement, see John Cowan's, e.g., "English is what you
get from Normans trying to pick up Saxon girls.  --Bryan Maloney"
BTW, is it true that Voltaire said "May the plague take half the English
language, and the ague take the other half"?)