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Brief History Of Linux (#5)
English Flame War

The idea behind Slashdot-style discussions is not new; it dates back to
London in 1699. A newspaper that regularly printed Letters To The Editor
sparked a heated debate over the question, "When would the 18th Century
actually begin, 1700 or 1701?" The controversy quickly became a matter of
pride; learned aristocrats argued for the correct date, 1701, while others
maintained that it was really 1700. Another sizable third of participants
asked, "Who cares?"

Ordinarily such a trivial matter would have died down, except that one
1700er, fed up with the snobbest 1701 rhetoric of the educated class,
tracked down one letter-writer and hurled a flaming log into his manor
house in spite. The resulting fire was quickly doused, but the practice
known as the "flame war" had been born. More flames were exchanged between
other 1700ers and 1701ers for several days, until the Monarch sent out
royal troops to end the flamage.



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