Richard Stallman's personal site.

For current political commentary, see the daily political notes.

RMS's Bio | The GNU Project

On doxing, and how to spell it.


There is a controversy about the proper spelling of the word "doxing"; some write it with a double x, but that is a mistake.

The digraph "xx" is pronounced like j in Spanish or the "ch" in German "ach". It is used with computers a replacement for the letter exx, which has a single stroke going down to the right and two parallel strokes going down to the left, because computers generally can't handle that letter. The exx is derived from the Greek letter chi, and pronounced like it; but since that Greek letter looks like our "x", it had to be modified with an added parallel stroke when it was introduced into English.

Thus, we usually have to write the name of the oil company as "Exxon", though its proper spelling is "e exx o n". (Don't make the mistake of pronouncing "Exxon" like "exon"; you will appear unsophisticated.)

The exx also gives us an unambiguous way to phonetically spell the exclamation of disgust, "yexx" or "ixx".

Since the word "doxing" is derived from "docs", it should be written with a single "x", as it is pronounced.

As for the ethics of doxing, I think it is ethical to reveal the home addresses of people who have committed grave crimes such as torture and aggressive war if the state declines to prosecute them, but it is wrong to do that to people one simply disagrees with.

Copyright 2014 Richard Stallman Released under Creative Commons Attribution Noderivatives 3.0 or later