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Git and words...

garretharp profile image Garret ・2 min read

So, as many of you know there are some articles about "master" in git being "racist." Obviously master in the case of git, and github is not racist if you look at the connotation of the word.

What is Connotation?

Conotation is the most important thing in language. A single word can have many different definitions that depend on how the word is used in a sentence.

The dictionary definition: "an idea or feeling that a word invokes in addition to its literal or primary meaning."

Example of Connotation

  • "The man is very blue"

This statement would literally mean that the man is colored blue. However, if you use the connotation with how it is used, you would know this means "the man is very sad"

The Word Master

The word master does have connection to the fact the slavery happened and people were in fact "masters" to slaves. I am not denying that. However, if you look into the connotation of how "master" is used in github, it refers to the "master copy." The word "master" in the case of git has nothing to do with people owning slaves.

My thoughts

Going down this road of people getting offended over every single word because it has any ties to slavery is a very bad road to go down.

If that is the way we go down we would have to stop using literally every word in the dictionary, because at one point our world was not the best. We stemmed all of our words with some sort of relation to how our world was back then. Rather than getting offended we need to understand the actual meaning of the word in the sentence it is used.

Going Down This Path

If we go down this path we would have to stop using words such as, main, control, git. Here's why:

Main comes from the "power" or "military control." If we look at whats happening in the world right now there is use of military control in the riots for police brutatility against people of color. Therefor main is a poor word since it has to do with the militaries control and power of the people.

Control literally means "the power to influence or direct people's behavior" which is what slave owners did to their slaves. They held power over everything they did. Therefor control is a bad word to use to define how git is a version control system.

Git literally means "an unpleasant or contemptible person." That is a pretty rude thing to use. Therefor git should not be used, and it should not be a version control system!

We could go on for days about every single word used for almost anything in the world. It is just not a good idea, and we instead need to understand that words have a connotation!

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