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"discord" means disagreement. There is an application, named "Discord", for online conversation. Does discord have another meaning which is probably more suited for the application, or is the application intended for disagreement? Isn't "Discourse" more suitable for the application?

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  • Asking why programs/applications/websites/etc have a certain name is off-topic.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Jul 6, 2023 at 13:01
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    In this case, Tim suspects there's a meaning for the word "discord" that he's not understanding, so that's his real question, Commented Jul 6, 2023 at 20:36

3 Answers 3

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Just wanted to add an explanation from Discord, from an AMA where they explain the name:

We picked the name because at the end of the day it just sounds cool and has to do with talking.... And Discord in the gaming community is the problem we are trying to solve with this product.

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    I wonder how well they achieved their goal :)
    – Barmar
    Commented Jul 5, 2023 at 14:37
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    You'd think they'd name it the opposite to align with their goal, but "Concord" was already taken ;) But fr, the other alternatives sound bad, like "Harmony" (too musical), "Accord" (too legal), or "Peace" (confusable with "piece").
    – wjandrea
    Commented Jul 5, 2023 at 14:45
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The word "discord" only has negative meanings roughly meaning disagreement, bad vibes, or actual fighting due to disagreement or bad vibes. It's a very strange name for a communication app and it took me a while to get used to it.

So yes, "Discourse" would have been a more descriptive, less jarring name.

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    Meanwhile, Discourse has been taken :)
    – Andrew T.
    Commented Jul 5, 2023 at 6:26
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    The bottom line is that it's a commercial service hoping to make money from the communities it hosts, many of which subscribe to the "free (as in speech)" ethos. Since such is controversial, the name appears well-chosen. Commented Jul 5, 2023 at 8:09
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    There's also "discordant", as in discordant musical notes, and they can be used to make incredible music! A name is only as negative as how it's used, and it would be unkind to call Discord as such.
    – Blindy
    Commented Jul 5, 2023 at 15:09
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    @MarkMorganLloyd you're kind of putting the cart before the horse there. The conditions of where/when/how Discord came about were vastly different than your assumptions based on the current state of things up to and including the world at large. I can't speak for the current state of the company/leadership, but I was acquainted with one of the founders at the time and they were genuinely interested in making good tools for gaming communities, and Discord is one of the things that came out of that, name and all.
    – Sammitch
    Commented Jul 6, 2023 at 5:50
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Discord, accord, and concord all have a similar "cord" root.

Etymologically, it's related to the root word for "heart". In this use though, it's more like speech from the heart: accord is general acceptance without the need for speech; concord is speech that all aligns and agrees; discord is conflicting and chaotic speech.

The presence of discord almost inevitably means some major underlying disagreement, and 99% of use means just that. But, similar to the word "pandemonium," it's not strictly negative.

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