This came to me as I was explaining domain vs. uucp addresses to a friend: Bang paths are more ancient than the Internet. As a matter of fact, bang paths were often seen as early as 4500 years ago back in ancient China when too much gunpowder got put into the fireworks. When such pyrotechnics went off, you would hear things like "Choi! Lo! Ying-Chow! Run!". Over the years, this type of addressing became contracted to "Choi!Lo!Ying-Chow!Run!". When UNIX began its life, either the developers were lazy or the ASR-33 teletypes they were using mandated the use of primarily one case (your guess is as good as mine). Anyway, early versions of UNIX had pyrotechnics of their own. Rumor has it the first PDP-11 to run Version 0.1 just took off and flew across the room, smoking and flaming. Hence, one bright Bell Labs engineer, who just happened to be a student of Ancient Chinese History (less esoteric than many areas of UNIX study) came up with the idea to use Bang Addressing. Hence the now familiar form: choi!lo!ying-chow!run!username
(From the "Rest" of RHF)
The Internet Jokebook|
Featuring the very best of netfunny.com on dead trees.