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[from the group on Usenet] Stands for `Useless Use of cat'; the reference is to the Unix command cat(1), not the feline animal. As received wisdom on observes, "The purpose of cat is to concatenate (or `catenate') files. If it's only one file, concatenating it with nothing at all is a waste of time, and costs you a process." Nevertheless one sees people doing

cat file | some_command and its args ...

instead of the equivalent and cheaper

<file some_command and its args ...

or (equivalently and more classically)

some_command and its args ... <file

Since 1995, occasional awards for UUOC have been given out, usually by Perl luminary Randal L. Schwartz. There is a web page devoted to this and other similar awards.

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