The source code for Linux is full of shit, and even more crap. At least, that's what the data says. Vidar Holen, a 20-year-old computer engineering student at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, has at last answered the burning question, How much do coders curse? The result is the Linux kernel swear count. "Hopefully it'll be of amusement for years to come," Holen says.
Linux, which is written mostly in the programming language C, lets coders add comments to explain their work. Those comments, it turns out, are a wonderland of foulmouthed criticism. Like this little gem: "These chips are basically fucked by design."
If the locker-room talk worries the suits trying to make money off Linux, Linus Torvalds, the father of the OS, doesn't give a damn. "Profanity and bad taste can be fine," he wrote to developers in a 1999 email. The time to worry, he said, is "when the profanities start to occupy a noticeable amount of kernel space." See? Dad said it's OK.
is Wired: June 2004