From the GNU humor page at

/* Written 12:22 pm  Oct 28, 1985 by umn-cs!herndon in umn-cs:net.jokes */
/* ---------- "GNU Echo, Release 1" ---------- */

GNUecho(1)          UNIX Programmer's Manual           GNUecho(1)

     echo - echo arguments

     echo [ options ] ...

     Echo writes its arguments separated by blanks and terminated
     by a newline on the standard output.  Options to filter and
     redirect the output are as follows:

     -2   generate rhyming couplets from keywords

     -3   generate Haiku verse from keywords

     -5   generate limerick from keywords

     -a   convert ASCII to ASCII

     -A   disambiguate sentence structure

     -b   generate bureaucratese equivalent (see -x)

     -B   issue equivalent C code with bugs fixed

     -c   simplify/calculate arithmetic expression(s)

     -C   remove copyright notice(s)

     -d   define new echo switch map

     -D   delete all ownership information from system files

     -e   evaluate lisp expression(s)

     -E   convert ASCII to Navajo

     -f   read input from file

     -F   transliterate to french

     -g   generate pseudo-revolutionary marxist catch-phrases

     -G   prepend GNU manifesto

     -h   halt system (reboot suppressed on Suns, Apollos, and
          VAXen, not supported on NOS-2)

     -i   emulate IBM OS/VU (recursive universes not supported)

     -I   emulate IBM VTOS 3.7.6 (chronosynclastic infundibula
          supported with restrictions documented in IBM VTOS

     -J   generate junk mail

     -j   justify text (see -b option)

     -k   output "echo" software tools

     -K   delete privileged accounts

     -l   generate legalese equivalent

     -L   load echo modules

     -M   generate mail

     -N   send output to all reachable networks (usable with -J,
          -K, -h options)

     -n   do not add newline to the output

     -o   generate obscene text

     -O   clean up dirty language

     -p   decrypt and print /etc/passwd

     -P   port echo to all reachable networks

     -P1  oolcay itay

     -q   query standard input for arguments

     -r   read alternate ".echo" file on start up

     -R   change root password to "RMS"

     -s   suspend operating system during output (Sun and VAX BSD
          4.2 only)

     -S   translate to swahili

     -T   emulate TCP/IP handler

     -t   issue troff output

     -u   issue unix philosophy essay

     -v   generate reverberating echo

     -V   print debugging information

     -x   decrypt DES format messages (NSA secret algorithm CX
          3.8, not distributed outside continental US)

     _E_c_h_o is useful for producing diagnostics in shell programs
     and for writing constant data on pipes.  To send diagnostics
     to the standard error file, do `echo ... 1>2'.

     Richard M. Stallman

Printed 10/28/85         18 January 1983                        3

The joke on this page was obtained from the FSF's email archives of the GNU Project. The Free Software Foundation claims no copyrights on this joke.

And now, will the real GNU echo please stand up?

<scarlatti 122 12:31 ~ >/bin/echo --help
Usage: /bin/echo OPTION... STRING...
Echo the STRING(s) to standard output.

  -n              do not output the trailing newline
  -e              enable interpretation of the backslash-escaped characters
                    listed below
  -E              disable interpretation of those sequences in STRINGs
      --help      display this help and exit (should be alone)
      --version   output version information and exit (should be alone)

Without -E, the following sequences are recognized and interpolated:

  \NNN   the character whose ASCII code is NNN (octal)
  \\     backslash
  \a     alert (BEL)
  \b     backspace
  \c     suppress trailing newline
  \f     form feed
  \n     new line
  \r     carriage return
  \t     horizontal tab
  \v     vertical tab

Report bugs to <>.
An example of history repeating itself first as farce, then as tragedy.

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