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In the Unix programming world there's a command called cd. It stands for Change Directory.

From what I can research it's at least 35 years old.

I often hear at my job "Then we'll cd into ".

With that usage established I was wondering if there's an established standard for how to specify a past tense use for this term.

I've tried using Target directory couldn't be cd'd but I'm unsure how that sounds to a general audience.

  • @Glorfindel I do see where that post is coming from. At the same time I wonder if cd is so common (at least in my niche corner of the world) that it's no longer jargon and there's a common use. – AlexLordThorsen Apr 4 '17 at 9:55
  • I think you might say "cee-dee'd" but wouldn't write it, at least not formally. The linked post mentions a verb lase as back-formed from laser, although lasered is not uncommon. And people are definitely tasered and not tased. I suppose there is scope for that older question to get new answers based on recent practice. – Andrew Leach Apr 4 '17 at 10:26
  • I don't agree with the contraction of the past tense. I would write it cd'ed instead. Although recent research shows that apostrophes should not be used unless your argument is a single character. – Jason P Sallinger Apr 4 '17 at 14:49
  • Consider: couldn't cd to target directory. – Lawrence Apr 4 '17 at 14:51
  • Changing the tense of commands tends to be awkward. This may be partly because commands are program names (nouns), even though they are treated as actions (verbs). Another possible reason is the spelling of the command string - modifying the command name to form a past tense results in a string that doesn't run the intended program. These probably aren't English words (yet). – Lawrence Apr 4 '17 at 15:00

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