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I recently read a sentence containing took them helm, and I cannot understand the meaning of that sentence.

Looks like [username] did not remove you from the commit list, so I cannot answer that. Otherwise, given you complained about this almost 4 years after the fact, the only thing I could tell is you did not care inbetween, or at least it was not important for you to raise a concern. Given that, it sounds rational that someone else took them helm, doesn't it?

Commit list is the list of the users who can commit code using CVS.

What does the last sentence mean? To what is it referring?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

"Them" is a typo of "the" in that sentence. "Someone else took the helm" means "someone else took over control or leadership". The meaning of "helm" being alluded to is "ship's steering mechanism".

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The helm is not a ship's "steering mechanism". It's just the tiller or wheel. The mechanism is the tiller, or the helm and the wheel-ropes, plus the rudder, the pintle, the gudgeon, and sometimes additional machinery. Just to be technical. –  Malvolio Feb 16 '11 at 21:04
3  
@Malvolio: Please correct Wikipedia, then. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helm –  chaos Feb 16 '11 at 21:16
    
The NOAD reports helm means a tiller or wheel and any associated equipment for steering a ship or boat. I think both @chaos and @Malvolio are correct, but one definition doesn't exclude the other. –  kiamlaluno Feb 17 '11 at 14:17

Take the helm is a phrase meaning to "take control" or "take over." It is referencing the helm of a ship - the steering mechanism (think: ⎈). The helmsman is the one who controls it, to literally take the helm would be to take control of the steering of the ship.

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