# Written by Claudio on Thursday 19 January 2017 21:25, read 9478 times.

A while back, I wrote an npm package to convert a list of strings into a compact, readable representation with delimiters of choice, and wanted to give it a name that represented what the tool does. I opted for sandwich, because it hints at the strings being sliced and interleaved with bread, the delimiters. Unfortunately, the name sandwich had already been picked by @brianloveswords for a module that generates ordered permutations of lists of strings. Therefore, I chose a colloquial term that I heard the Irish use to refer to sandwiches, sambo.

Unfortunately, in US English sambo is also a derogatory term and a racial slur for a black person. I came to realize this only long after publishing the module and some damage had already been done. In the interest of of keeping project names free from terms that convey negativity against anyone, I decided to rename the module to sarnie, which is a British slang and alternative term to say sandwich.

I'd like to apologize to all people of color for not realizing in advance and taking action earlier to remediate this mistake. I made a commitment to make technology and software development inclusive and safe for all, and appreciate feedback that helped me realize there was an issue in the first place and action had to be taken.

Incidentally, today I also learned that Wikipedia has a list of ethnic slurs one can use as a reference for words to avoid when picking names for projects, libraries, packages etc. I think it's a really useful resource to look up to inform the choice of a name, and would be good to use in automated checks to discourage use of unsafe words.

Write a comment

An asterisk (*) denotes a required field. Markdown syntax allowed.