I tended to be more annoyed by _extra_ characters;
e.g. the fact that
'change directory' was (in standard V6) "chdir" (as opposed to just
plain "cd") I found far more irritating! Why make that one _five_
characters, when most common commands are two?! (cc, ld, mv, rm, cp,
etc, etc, etc...)
In the earliest systems, e.g. that on the PDP-7, the change-directory
command was just `ch'.
Two vague memories about the change:
-- Dennis, in one of his retrospective papers (possibly that
in the 1984 all-UNIX BLTJ issue, but I don't have it handy at
the moment) remarked about ch becoming chdir but couldn't
remember why that happened.
-- Someone else, possibly Tom Duff, once suggested to me that
in the earliest systems, the working directory was the only
thing that could be changed: no chown, no chmod. Hence just
ch for chdir. I don't know offhand whether that's true, but
it makes a good story.
Personally I'd rather have to type chdir and leav off th
trailing e on many other words than creat if it let me off
dealing with pieces of key system infrastructure that insist
on printing colour-change ANSI escape sequences (with, so far
as I can tell, no way to disable them) and give important files
names beginning with - so that grep pattern * produces an error.
But that happens in Linux, not UNIX.