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Branden's cryptic advice

Branden Robinson ended his part of the 2003 DPL debate with this message:

    I'd like everybody to make as informed a decision as they can when
    voting, and to please exercise their franchise.  Only you can make
    the system work.

At this point, various non-native English speakers may be left wondering,
  What's a franchise?
  Why does Branden think that mine needs exercise?
  Do I even HAVE a franchise?
  Is it big and hairy?

To clear up the confusion, I did some research.  According to
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (the true geek's
dictionary), "franchise" is derived from French "franc" or "franche",
meaning free.  That's certainly in the spirit of Debian.  The
dictionary also adds: See {Frank}.

Looking up "Frank", we find "A pigsty" as the first definition.
Slightly surprising, but maybe it's a comment on the project's
current lack of organization.  More likely, the definition we
want is further down: "unbounded by restrictions, limitations,
etc.; free".  Its etymology is telling.  It's listed as from
French "franc", meaning free; from Latin "Francus", meaning a
Frank; and from German "Franko", "the name of a Germanic people
on the Rhine, who afterward founded the French monarchy".

In other words, the Fiend was telling us to be more French.

It's a strange world.

Richard Braakman
  to troll, v.: to explore, in an electronic forum, the subtle distinction
  between being an idiot and pretending to be an idiot.

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