What do you think about the "Mum and dad" expression commonly used here?

Hi everyone :slight_smile:

There is a common expression here, maybe brought by Gaël Duval at the beginning of /e/ to explain one goal of /e/, and used quite often by a lot of people now : “for mum and dad”.

Why “mum and dad” have to be the silly people ?

I’m sure the big majority of teenagers and young adults don’t know what a custom ROM is, how to hard reboot their phone and anything about privacy. And amoung them there are users that have never used Android (the iPhone is popular among teens).

So yes, maybe that in statistics, older people are less likely to know how things work. But actually even young people don’t know how things work. They just know how to use a phone or a laptop, but not what is behind, how to re-install Windows and what a recovery mode is for instance.

And I’m sure a lot of “mum and dad” are more techi than their children. After all, the majority of people working in the new technology industry are “mum and dad”.

All of this is to say that I think we should replace that expression by something that doesn’t make “mum and dad” the dumb people, because it’s unfair. Everyone is when it comes to more advanced things.
Of course I know it’s not supposed to be mean, but let’s not stigmatize a significant part of the population.

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regular users are ordinary people ?
When I hear “mum and dad” it makes me think of the image of the “geek”, a pimply, nerdy, gambling teenager.
Towards the end of the 1990s, the media were breaking our ears with “new technologies” and “internet”!
With an aged friend, we laughed: "Yes, you mean the new technologies from the 1960s? »
Since that time, people always say “internet” they should say “the internet” or better still “the internets” because it is “the interconnected networks”, anyway most of the time when they say that, they only talk about the “web”.
What they all still call a telephone today is more like a pocket-computer which has, among other things, a function for making phone calls.
“People” is the worst thing, it’s a real plague, it shouldn’t be there.

les utilisateurs lambda sont des gens ordinaires ?
L’orsque j’entends « mum and dad » ça me fait penser à l’image du « geek », un adolescent abruti, boutonneux et gamer.
Vers la fin des années 1990 les médias nous cassaient les oreilles avec « les nouvelles technologies » et « internet » !
Avec un copain agé, on rigolait : « a oui ! vous voulez dire les nouvelles technologies issues des années 1960 ? »
Depuis ce temps, les gens disent toujours « internet » ils devrait dire « l’internet » ou mieux encore « les internets » car il s’agit « des réseaux interconnectés », de toute façon la plupart du temps en disant cela, ils parlent uniquement du « web ».
Ce qu’ils appellent tous aujourd’hui encore un téléphone est plutôt un ordinateur de poche qui a entre autres, une fonction pour passer des appels téléphoniques.
« Les gens », c’est ce qu’ y a de pire, c’est une vraie plaie, faudrait pas qu’il y en ai.

it’s only a phrase for ‘mainstream’ people which want have a working device without to have setup alot and without the needed knowledge about it. In German we are have a name for people like that ‘Otto Normalverbraucher’

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Then the German expression is much better since it doesn’t stigmatize a precise category of people unfairly.

In French it could be “Monsieur et Madame Tout-le-monde” (Mr. and Mrs. Everybody) to talk about ordinary people.

:slight_smile: interesting discussion. Use of the ‘mum and dad’ phrase was meant to signify folks who are not technically savvy. It was not intended to hurt anyone or target folks of any age group. It can mean folks of any age group so maybe we should use a different set of words.
BTW ever tried explaining how to install an app or update the system - over the phone - to an aged relative of yours??? Try it - it can be an eye opener !!
The ‘mom’s and dads’ refuse to listen to you and insist that what they say is correct. They come back with tales of their own technical skills and will tell you stories of devices they used when you were running around in your diapers!! After some time you will just give up.


»Mum and dad« = mere mortals

»Mum and dad« = normalsterbliche Person / Durchschnittsmensch - in German ↬ duden.de

I’m sure there is an existing nice expression for this. But I’m not enough “English” to know it.

And yes I agree on the fact that probability says if you try to explain something to a young, you have less chance to jump out of a window :yum:

But even if young people understand things easily, they are not that good. If they were we would have millions of /e/ users, which is not the case because they are not aware of privacy and custom ROM either.
That’s why I think /e/ should bring knowledge and an easy software to “ordinary people” instead of “mum and dad”.

Yes we are discussing about details but that’s how you become perfect :wink:

What about “average users” ?

(french) ça ne se traduit pas par “utilisateurs moyens”, mais par “utilisateurs normaux” :wink:


Mum and dad is a perfectly valid expression that represents the vast majority of people. The beauty of it is that you don’t have to explain it because everybody understands what it means regardless of the language you speak. Nobody is being “stigmatized”… but of course this is 2020 and even every day expressions are too offensive. This is why we can’t have nice things.


“Average users” represents even more people.

It’s true it’s easily understandable but if you don’t have the level to understand what is said around the “mum and dad” it’s useless anyway. And “ordinary people” is quite easy to understand too.

Even if nobody is stigmatized, this expression stays false because young people aren’t more aware of privacy and custom ROM than “mum and dad”. So why keep an expression that could be replaced by something better and more true.

Sorry to think about other people (I’m definitely not a “mum and dad”).

I don’t see why that expression is particularly nicer than “average users”.

I think I said what I had to say so I’m gonna leave this topic and let it live (if it has to) :slight_smile:

Also there is young people that have children, so they are mum and dads, but also elderly people that don t have children and would be excluded by mums and dads, so yes i think average people or user or what ever would be a mor precise term :slight_smile:


The advantage of “Mom and Dad” is that it immediately catches the eye when you read it - in other words, it has a media-effective.


Insulting stereotype language like this “mum and dad” or “mom and dad” is bad, but it shows the mind of the person(s) using it. Duval uses “what mom and dad need (they need the iOS UI)” stereotype since 2012 or before.


E foundation uses the phrase “desirable enough for Mom, Dad and children” early.


At kickstarter, “Something that I could even recommend to my parents or my children.”


“Mass market” appeal or “appeals to everybody” is better because it insults everyone equally.

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When someone like Gael or another fourty aged like me use « mum and dad » i heard is about sixty or seventy aged people more « Grandparents » who have seen computers coming from the nasa to their pocket without contrôle on this desastre.

finally i found that « Mum and dad » is a gentle expression.

In one of his songs, « George BRASSENS »
the famous french singer says something like :
« old twat or young twat, time don’t do nothing to the case, if/when you are twat, you are twat »


Likewise @Andy1 and I have been the “go to” guy for 20 years or so. Sorting out each problems and even coverting some to Linux. So it is a bit condescending but I don’t find it offensive. You an be a 20 year old mom or dad.

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+1 totally agree.
I feel its Over thinking when the phrase generally (and for most people) does get the point across.
(I’m mom and dad age, and never felt it derogatory)

I do think the mom and dad thing has nothing to do with age, skills or knowlege. I think it has to do with simple doing things the way they work. Steve Jobs used to say: It just works! That should be the attitude and goal towards /e/.

To be honest I think there’s a long way to go. Right now only the tech savy people and people willing to sacrify comfort for privacy are spending time to get things running. But not always it’s a success.

Don’t get me wrong, the /e/ team (and the other projects and communities) has done an enormous job so far. Really impresses me. But the battle is not even and absolutly not fair. The big GAFAT has such enormous budgets… So if you are using /e/ consider donating to help /e/ just work.

I am 71, a granny! Did alpha and gamma studies. I was the first one in the family with a smartphone, an iphone, and I was the first one who noticed that not I was becoming smart with this thing, but Apple and many other tech companies instead. Tech is not neutral, it touches ethics and politics.
My daughters are now aware of the negative side of tech and they are more careful than my son, who just uses everything because it is convenient. My husband tries to follow me, but he still uses an iphone, while I decided to use an alternative (Sailfish) years ago. In the beginning I struggled a lot with it, but now it works fine. And I am still interested in /e/.
It is hard to explain to other people who know nothing about tech, who just accept what is offered. Most people, young and old, have no idea and do not want to know, they just want to be a ‘users’ and go on with their life.
I compare this to the attitude of people during WWII. Most people did not join the resistance although they did not like the occupation, they just tried to live with it.
‘Mum and dad’, I know what Gaël meant to say, but literally spoken it doesn’t make sense: nearly everyone below 80 uses or has used a computer and many young people have no idea what’s going on in their phone and beyond.


It is a good discussion, for at least most people here do realise that a split in the populations is arising: the technical skilled and the non-technical skilled. That is worrying, because tech is becoming more and more important. Knowledge, also technical knowledge, means power. Think only what in China is happening.


I propose “Normals”.

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