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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Kludge Controversy Continues

Forget about the sequester!  The real issue facing our country is the proper pronunciation of the word Kludge.   Several visitors to the SolderSmoke table at last weekend's Winterfest weighed in on this issue.   SolderSmoke Lexicographer Steve Silverman wrote to inform me that I had totally misinterpreted his e-mail -- he is in fact rather firmly in the Klooge as in Stooge camp.  I, however, am sticking to Kludge as in Fudge.  It just feels right.  And I may use the awesome power of the SolderSmoke media empire to actually CHANGE the way people pronounce this word.

Check out the California Kilowatt ad.  In retrospect, probably a poor choice of brand name.

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  1. It is most definitely "as in fudge". No doubt about it.

  2. Eric Raymond's Jargon File is a respected source of the origin of technical terms in the software world. Here are his entries (both for "kluge" and "kludge"):


  3. The Merriam-Webster website (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kludge) audio pronunciation rhymes with "Stooge". However, the list of words that rhyme with includes "budge" and "fudge". So much for any help there!

    73 de K1RBY

  4. Hi Bill,
    I have worked in the electronics industry for 50 years and when I started it was Kludge as in Klooge and it hasn't changed since, as far as I know. I have never heard it pronounced as in Fudge.

    73 de Doug - W8NFT

  5. A "California Kilowatt" used to mean an amplifier running in excess of the legal limit. "Myron E. Kluge"? Really? Could this be one of the wonderfully realistic hoaxes put out for fun by marketing guys?

  6. Hi Bill, perhaps your choice of which side of the fence to come down on comes from your stay in the UK. I've never heard anyone here pronounce the word any other way than "as in fudge".

  7. For me, it's always rhymed with stooge. Your podcast was the first time I ever heard it pronounced differently.

  8. In my experience, it's been a generational thing. The older generation always seemed to rhyme "fudge", while the younger ones rhyme "stooge" Po-tay-to, po-tah-to. Anyone who expects purity out of the English language - in any of its forms - is going to be sorely disappointed.

    73 de Steve - KB8AVJ

  9. My goodness! Back in the olden time (1960s-early 1970s) I worked for NASA at Raytheon and we used an IBM 360 mainframe and a Honeywell 1004. The Honeywell was known amongst us cognoscenti as "The Kludge" (pronounced to rhyme with "fudge"). Never heard it pronounced to rhyme with "stooge" until I transferred to California for a while.

  10. Concerning the German origin of the name "Kluge" (just look at a random phone book from any place in Germany or Austria where Kluge is a commom name), "Kluge" was originally ponounced "klooge" with "g" as in the beginning of "ghost". The question is, what happened to this after becoming Americanized and here I would argue that something like "kludge" would probably be the most familiar way of pronunciation.

    (You could do the same thing to the common vs. original pronunciation of "Yaesu" by the way.)

  11. It's kludge as in fudge, rhymes with klutz. Both klutz and kludge are Yiddish. Natch.


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