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Mt.Gox does not mean "Mount" Gox (wikipedia.org)
51 points by theromi on April 12, 2013 | hide | past | favorite | 43 comments

Hacker News says Mt. Gox doesn't mean "Mount Gox", and cites Wikipedia.

Wikipedia says the name was originally "Magic: The Gathering Online Exchange" and cites The Verge.

The Verge says the same and cites... Hacker News.

I still believe it, but circular citation is often cause to raise an eyebrow or two!

Here is something with a bit of substance: http://web.archive.org/web/20070817170606/http://mtgox.com/g...

That only proves that the domain was used for something else in the past. So what?

The page's title is "MTG Online Exchange" and refers to itself as Mt. Gox and MTGOX.COM. It's fairly clear they are the same entity.

What I don't get is that if it's an acronym for "Magic the Gathering Online eXchange," then why do they write it as "Mt. Gox?" Wouldn't that translate to, "Magic the. Gathering Online eXchange?"

Magic the Gathering is often abbreviated to MtG.

I think he's asking why they had the ". " in the middle of the name. It would make sense if Magic The Gathering was often abbreviated as Mt.G but that seems unlikely.

Well, "MtGox" could be read "Mt. Gox", it's probably intentional that they made it also sound like the name of a mountain.

FWIW, the nickname of Mark Karpeles (the CEO) is MagicalTux, and we used to call him "MT".


Anyone know if Wikipedia has any tools to detect that sort of thing?

At least they acknowledge the problem these days and claim to take care.

It does now. Etymology can be fascinating, but eventually weight of consensus will shift a word to mean what it looks like it means (in a process that's oddly similar to bitcoin's consensus on the transaction history)

Also, Mt.Gox actually has a . in their logo now, signifying that "Mount Gox" is how they'd prefer you to read it.

EDIT: Note the mountain image on the about page. https://mtgox.com/about-us

The word "forte" has undergone this change. The actual correct pronunciation of it is "fort" as in a sturdy structure used for defence.

I have only ever heard it pronounced correctly twice, people typically say it as "fortay". This has now become so common that some dictionaries are showing it as a valid pronunciation.

Language is always evolving, which is great.

I don't like to be a pedant, but what the hell.

Your belief about which is the "correct" pronunciation depends on whether you believe the "correct" etymology is French or Italian. It appears to me that people agree that the word came into English from French earlier, but also that (at least in 'murica) people have settled on the other pronunciation.

It's not that there's a correct pronunciation that got corrupted, as you suggest. There are two legitimate derivations of this word with different pronunciations and one has won out.

By the way, the word in French would be pronounced \ˈfȯt\, which is a common usage in Britain. And it refers not to a fort (which is the Italian etymology for "a strong point") but rather to the part of a sword between the middle and the hilt.

Source: I like to read about usage and etymology. Sadly my dictionary of classical word origins suggests that forte comes from fortis in Latin, which (while ultimately true) doesn't reflect either later usage or pronunciation.

You are mistaken. There IS a version of "forte" that is correctly pronounced "fortay" and that is the musical term for loud, which is Italian.

The correct pronunciation of "forte" as in an area of strength or speciality is "fort". Older dictionaries will give this as the correct pronunciation but more modern and especially online dictionaries sometimes give "fortay" as an alternate pronunciation.

I used to make that same fort-from-the-french correction until I did so to an Italian girl who looked at me curiously and explained this.

Although I think (in the spirit of pedantry) it's worth noting that the french pronunciation of the word depends on whether it's fort or forte and, of course, the first syllable of the next word!

Most people have probably first encountered the word forte in the context of music, where, as an Italian word, it is actually pronounced "for-tay".

I've used it the correct way only to have people try to correct it with the (traditionally) wrong pronunciation.

I'm not sure of the etymology, but "forte" also refers to the strong part of a sword blade (in contrast to the foible).

I saw this yesterday when I was investigating the Union Flag. It seems as though the Union Jack story, one which my dad (a now retired naval commander) has told me many times, is not a true as we're led to believe.


You want to call it Mount, because otherwise people will say 'em tee' which sounds close to 'empty', and that has negative connotations when talking about money.

I think the poster is hinting that having the largest trading platform for a (formerly) $1bn economy based on an RPG trading card site is not wise.

The events on mtgox in the last few days are irritating but not all that surprising. Bitcoin as a protocol is still solid but traders need to take their business to a less amateurishly run platform. Mtgox already has several competitors (Bitstamp seem good) but a shock like this was required to overcome the critical mass they had.

As an aside - it's fascinating to watch a new financial system being built from the ground up. Through the regular disasters in the Bitcoin ecosystem I'm starting to see why parts of the 'real' banking world function the way they do.

Trading platforms evolve depending on the needs of the marketplace. It is not like there are plenty of existing trading platforms that stand in line to trade bitcoins. It is not as if there hasn't been similar issues with other trading platforms. Remember the Facebook IPO issues, for example..

If anything, MtGox should be congratulated for executing a wildly successful pivot.

How do people know that other platforms are being run less amateurishly? For all that I know, it could be just that the other exchanges didn't have so much traffic // weren't ddosed yet.

I'm suddenly curious about the total market value of all Magic cards in existence. Probably not a billion dollars, but tens or hundreds of millions seems very possible.

Ironically, Mt. Gox appears to process vastly more transactions far more reliably than Magic: the Gathering Online itself, with its infamous lag and regular reboots. But hey, if Bitcoin crashes again, Magic is a great platform for speculators:


Useful information to disseminate; however, I fear trying to "correct" the popular perception on this would be quixotic, much like trying to change how "begs the question" is used back to what it originally meant.

Descriptivistically, the "Mount Gox" backronym seems to have more currency. (pun intended, but immediately regretted!)

Oh - thanks for the info. I was under the impression it would be a pun towards Fort Knox.

That would have been rather ironic

Actually their official video about withdrawal methods disagrees with you / wikipedia.

Right at the start she clearly says "Mount Gox" - http://vimeo.com/m/40056755

Then why the dot and the wierd lower- and uppercase mixture?

Well, in magic circles the game is often abbreviated as MtG, the t usually being lowercase because many people don't capitalise "the" when writing out "Magic the Gathering". (even though the WotC themselves do capitalise it on the cards). Whether this proves anything I leave up to the reader.

Because nobody refers to it as Magic The Gathering Online Exchange any more, it is now "Mt. Gox" to most people, and their logo reflects that.

You would be surprised at how many nobodies still refer to it by the old name. It's also much funnier to say outloud.

Even more annoying is that Mt is one colour and GOX is another. To me this implies there are two shortened words in the name: Mt and GOX. And Mt can easily be thought of as Mountain.

I don't care, there is no faster way to say it. Every other way I can imagine is cumbersome.

I really love that song by The Who. I think it's called "Teenage Wasteland"

Wayland! The song is called Barbra O'Reilly, after Pete Townshend's second wife.

Mt. Gox ~ Fort Knox

A bank or brokerage should have a name of weight and substance, to give customers a sense of security.

Proof that changing your idea is OK if the circumstances are right!

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