why 'cat'?

fluca1978

Aspiring Daemon

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This has puzzled several students of mine while introducing cat as concat command: they tend to think to the animal noun instead of the ending of 'concat'.
So here's the question: why the name of cat is spelled as it is? I think it could descend from some Lisp or other programming language construct, but apparently I'm not able to find any reasonable explaination.
 

kpedersen

Daemon

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Perhaps you can tell them the cat stands for cataplasm instead.

In Latin and Greek it vaguely means "to plaster over".

So if you did something like (don't do this):


# cat /dev/urandom > /etc/passwd


Then your system is now probably pretty plastered.
 

userxbw

Well-Known Member

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maybe Microsoft had something to do with it..
Code:
The Microsoft Excel CONCAT function allows you to join 2 or more strings together. 
It was released in Excel 2016 and replaces the CONCATENATE function.
As a worksheet function, the CONCAT function can be entered as part of a formula in a cell of a
worksheet.
it's just a thought.
 

Crivens

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While that might sound obvious, there are certain cultures that will tell you the sky is, in fact, green.
Mainly those living in rainforest?
Or when there are more words for blue? Russian has two, me thinks.
 

SirDice

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Mainly those living in rainforest?
Among others, yes. If I recall correctly they can discern more shades of green than we can too.
Or when there are more words for blue? Russian has two, me thinks.
Language differences can be confusing too, with the same word used for both green and blue.

The point I was trying to make is that it's not at all obvious that the sky is blue. A significant section of the world's population can and will be utterly confused by that.
 

scottro

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In Japan the word for blue, aoi can also mean green. There is a separate word for green, midori, but aoi is often used. Like the American (as far as I know, it quite possibly originated elsewhere) The grass is always greener on the other side, they have a proverb, tonari no shiba aoi. Tonari (next) no (a possesive) shiba (lawn) aoi (green in this case.) Sometimes Japanese will call something blue that we'd call green and vice versa.

(Married to native speaker for over 20 years).
 

msplsh

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So here's the question: why the name of cat is spelled as it is?
Because it's short and it's short for concatenate. That's all there is to it.

 

aragats

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Because it's short and it's short for concatenate. That's all there is to it.
I remember this (or similar) video was already posted here. Also explains why dd!

[OFFTOPIC] Did you think why "soccer" has appeared as a shortening of "association" by skipping the first letters? ;-)
 

Hakaba

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One of my professor say that cat is for concatenation (catenate)
«cat a b c» ensure that EOF exist only at the end.
It is used for printing text because cat was faster than other tools. (more ?)

man cat seems to confirm :
«concatenate and print fileS»
 
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