[TUHS] etymology of cron

Greg 'groggy' Lehey grog at lemis.com
Thu Dec 24 09:49:39 AEST 2015

On Wednesday, 23 December 2015 at 11:04:36 -0500, John Cowan wrote:
> Norman Wilson scripsit:
>> But I'd be satisfied if we could somehow stamp out the use of spurious
>> references to support spurious claims.

It occurs to me that there's a difference between stamping out the use
and stamping out the reference.  True story (at some level of truth):

  In the late 18th century a member of a European exploratory mission
  in Australia sees a strange animal jumping around.  He turns to the
  aboriginal guard assigned to him and says "What's that animal?".
  Guard answers: "kangaroo" ("I don't understand what you're saying").

  I've always taken this one to be a joke, but the Oxford English
  Dictionary picks it up and says:

    The common assertion that it really means 'I don't understand'
    (the supposed reply of the local to his questioner) seems to be of
    recent origin and lacks confirmation. (See Morris Austral English

  And maybe this is the correct way to handle those references.
  Mention them and observe that they lack any substantiation.

> I suppose you could get the original author(s) to print a retraction.

I've been trying to find Phil Diacono, of whom you wouldn't expect
many falso positives, but in fact there are two or three in Melbourne
alone, none of whom seem to be the right one.

In the meantime, help has come from an unlikely direction.  As far as
I can tell, it's nobody on this list, but there's no account behind
the commit, just the IP address 2601:647:4001:bc00:c48d:fc08:b94c:dec2

It refers to an article by Kah Seng Tay at
https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-etymology-of-cron , which appears
undated (date "Wed"), but which goes into more detail and includes a
copy of a message from Brian with essentially the same content as the
one he sent to Doug.  I've updated the page to note lack of
substatiation in the alternative references.

We're not done yet.  Tedickey has once again tagged the entry with
WP:RS.  So a published document would still be a good idea.

wkt: is it time for an informal "Proceedings of TUHS"?

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