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Foo Forum

Really Stoopid Questions
Being a webmaster we get all kinds !
Visit Thailand

 1:41 am on Dec 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

I am sure everyone here has got many emails from clients where just no and again you will crack up with the utter stupidity of the question.

They may be harmless and meant in another way sometimes but....

One such question was received a few days ago where a viewer very seriously asked 'What do people in Thailand wear'

Made my day!



 2:29 am on Dec 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

And the answer was..? ;)

I used to work for a small ISP (6 people). Our DN was foo-net.com. We had a support person who'd been with us for 3 years. She gets a phone call from one of our clients one day. The client was asking about DNs. So not knowing the answer she comes running into the back room (where we're all playing games) and blurts out the question in a panic "can someone buy a domain name with a hyphen in it?"

We all looked at her and simultaneously said "Duuh" and our domain is...?


 9:25 am on Dec 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

I was once asked what country london was in!


 9:32 am on Dec 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

I had it commented to me that it was good of them to build Edinburgh Castle so close to the train station....


 9:48 am on Dec 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

We were on holiday in the Phillipines and got into a Taxi.

The taxi driver asked - "Are you American?"

"No - From England"

"England? Then how come you all speak such good English?"


 10:30 am on Dec 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

I was once asked what country london was in!

In the United States of course... far more of 'em here than in England. ;)

London, Arkansas
London, Alabama
London, Arizona
London, California
London, Kentucky
London, Michigan
London, Minnesota
London, Ohio
London, Oregon
London, Pennsylvania
London, Tennessee
London, Texas
London, West Virginia
London, Wisconsin


 10:32 am on Dec 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

Not to mention: London, Ontario, Canada


 10:40 am on Dec 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

On a trip out west I called back home to wish my mother happy birthday and when she asked where I was calling from I told her I was calling from a phone booth by the London Bridge.

"London Bridge"?
"I thought you were in Arizona"!


 10:52 am on Dec 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

<on topic (originally stupid questions about the web)>

I particularly like the people calling some ISP hotline and asking 'Is this the Internet?' :)

</on topic>

<off topic>

In the United States of course... far more of 'em here than in England.

Goes to show just how inventive americans are ;).

<off topic>

<added after JOAT's comment> Where did I put my 'rest of the world' t-shirt? ;)</added>

[edited by: Sinner_G at 11:08 am (utc) on Dec. 11, 2002]


 10:54 am on Dec 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hmmm...i seem to remember starting a simalar thread like this a few months ago that turned into a US vs the rest of the World debate....lets not go there again! :)



 11:19 am on Dec 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

My ex-wife called me at my parents house once and asked "where are you?"


 11:21 am on Dec 11, 2002 (gmt 0)


Ah but, when a woman asks, "where are you?", she knows where you are, she actually wants to know, "Why are you not here?".

Were you late for something, Lawman? ;)



 11:29 am on Dec 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

I think it was Christmas. She was taking a nap and I left. I guess I shoulda left a note or something.


 11:33 am on Dec 11, 2002 (gmt 0)


Hmm...there was definitely a hidden meaning in her question then... :)



 11:40 am on Dec 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

On my movie/celebrity database site:

Something to the effect of: "I know you're very busy and probably can't do this, but you're my brother's favorite actor and if you can find the time, it'd be kewl if you could come to his birthday party next week. Write me if you need directions."

Never did find out exactly which actor the person thought I was, but it was about when XXX was just out in theaters, so I've always assumed it was Vin Diesel. (Which also verifies certain theories I have about Vin Diesel fans...).



 11:47 am on Dec 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

he he

is your movie site www.vin-diesel.com? ;)



 2:40 pm on Dec 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

Lets face it though london, england is the most important london in the world. And we were in england at the time. And all involved were english. So its ok to assume that they were referring to the british london.


 2:59 pm on Dec 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

"I was driving through Seattle and a local radio station there mentioned a great (very general keyword phrase). Can you tell me which one they were talking about?"

I get a few like this almost every day. Now no offense to AOL users, because they can be great customers, but 99.9% of these questions come from an AOL IP address.


 3:16 pm on Dec 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

I sold a one week, crewed sailing charter to a woman from Idaho last Christmas. Without a word of a lie, she called one morning to ask several questions. The one that broke me up so badly that I had to hang up and pretend later that we had been disconnected was:

Will the island be in the same place when we get back a week later?

This lady honestly thought the islands just bobbed around in the sea and weren't attached to anything! Must have been blonde!


 3:30 pm on Dec 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

Ok then, here's my (probably very stooopid) question: why 'Foo'? where does the word/abbrev. come from? I'm sure many seasoned WebmasterWorlders will be rolling in the aisles, but I've pondered this question for, ooo, seconds, and haven't come up with an answer!

Apologies if I'm merely showing my dense-ness, I'll return to the shade of my cave forthwith.



 3:31 pm on Dec 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

interj. Term of disgust.
Used very generally as a sample name for absolutely anything, esp. programs and files (esp. scratch files).
First on the standard list of metasyntactic variables used in syntax examples. See also bar, baz, qux, quux, corge, grault, garply, waldo, fred, plugh, xyzzy, thud.
The etymology of hackish `foo' is obscure. When used in connection with `bar' it is generally traced to the WWII-era Army slang acronym FUBAR (`F**ked Up Beyond All Repair'), later bowdlerized to foobar. (See also FUBAR).

However, the use of the word `foo' itself has more complicated antecedents, including a long history in comic strips and cartoons. The old "Smokey Stover" comic strips by Bill Holman often included the word `FOO', in particular on license plates of cars; allegedly, `FOO' and `BAR' also occurred in Walt Kelly's "Pogo" strips. In the 1938 cartoon "The Daffy Doc", a very early version of Daffy Duck holds up a sign saying "SILENCE IS FOO!"; oddly, this seems to refer to some approving or positive affirmative use of foo. It has been suggested that this might be related to the Chinese word `fu' (sometimes transliterated `foo'), which can mean "happiness" when spoken with the proper tone (the lion-dog guardians flanking the steps of many Chinese restaurants are properly called "fu dogs").

Earlier versions of this entry suggested the possibility that hacker usage actually sprang from "FOO, Lampoons and Parody", the title of a comic book first issued in September 1958, a joint project of Charles and Robert Crumb. Though Robert Crumb (then in his mid-teens) later became one of the most important and influential artists in underground comics, this venture was hardly a success; indeed, the brothers later burned most of the existing copies in disgust. The title FOO was featured in large letters on the front cover. However, very few copies of this comic actually circulated, and students of Crumb's `oeuvre' have established that this title was a reference to the earlier Smokey Stover comics.

An old-time member reports that in the 1959 "Dictionary of the TMRC Language", compiled at TMRC there was an entry that went something like this:

FOO: The first syllable of the sacred chant phrase "FOO MANE PADME
HUM." Our first obligation is to keep the foo counters turning.

For more about the legendary foo counters, see TMRC. Almost the entire staff of what became the MIT AI LAB was involved with TMRC, and probably picked the word up there.
Very probably, hackish `foo' had no single origin and derives through all these channels from Yiddish `feh' and/or English `fooey'.

Jargon File Version 3.0


 3:36 pm on Dec 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

Zoinks, speedy reply there dg - thanks!



 5:27 pm on Dec 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

Not sure what the relevance of this piece of trivia is, but I believe in World War II sightings of objects not identifiable as enemy or friendly airplanes were called "foo fighters". That would put the usage just a bit later than the cartoon citations. This name was more recently adopted by the rock group.

Foo and Bar are reminiscent of the military slang, FUBAR, an acronym for, more or less, "*fouled* up beyond all redemption".


 5:29 pm on Dec 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

Theres a reference in the film "Tango and Cash" to FUBAR.

<Bleep> up beyond all recognition.

It seems the R is interchangable. :)


[edited by: lawman at 6:03 pm (utc) on Dec. 11, 2002]
[edit reason] We get the idea ;) [/edit]


 6:42 pm on Dec 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

As a webmaster I never got any stupid questions, but when I was working at a Subway restaurant, I'd get them every day.

"Which is bigger, the foot long or the six inch sandwich?"
"What's on a turkey sub?"


 8:19 pm on Dec 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

Every time our (unreliable) wireless ISP hiccups, and my employer's website becomes unreachable from the front customer service counter, one of the employees would page over to my desk and ask if I'd done something with the website, because he couldn't find it...

I kept telling him there was no way and no reason I would ever take the entire website offline... he kept paging everytime the ISP went down.

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