October 13, 2009
I was reading the fracas about things that were said at some conference and then various people’s replies about how to refer to groups so as not to offend others and I realized there is a bizarre parallel that my S.O. pointed out to me years ago from the knitting community.
If you need to refer to the overwhelming group of people who are not computing-involved and/or not open-source/linux involved – then refer to them by their lack of knowledge of the arcane magic: they are muggles.
Muggles is gender neutral, it’s an accurate representation, I’d say, based on the usage from harry potter books and it is not obviously a pejorative (depending on how it is used, of course (then again I can make ‘beautiful’ into a pejorative if I say it properly)).
What do you think? Muggles? good word for the non-computing/non-linux majority?
“We want to make [fedora|linux] easy enough so it is possible for muggles to easily setup their printers.”
The knitting world seems to refer to non-knitters as muggles for the exact same reason – there is arcane magic that non-knitters do not know.