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Monday, July 15, 2013

In Support of Foo

 
Does it surprise you to hear that I’m dyslexic? Back in my father’s day, you had two kinds of children, those with polio, and those without. In my childhood polio was gone so we searched for other crippling diseases for children and discovered dyslexia. Nowadays we’ve gone overboard. We have dyslexia, autism, peanut allergy, IBS, ADD, and a wide variety of other maladies and phobias to choose from. We used to fear being different. Now we can’t handle being the same. Any kid without at least 2 crippling issues might be suffering from ENS (Excessive Normality Syndrome.)

None of this has anything to do with Foo. I only mentioned the dyslexia, because my personal not-so-crippling disease was my doorway to Foo.

What is Foo? Foo is the answer to one of the stupidest inconsistencies of the English language. If we want to abbreviate yes and no, we use Y & N. If we want to abbreviate true and false, we use T & F. Everybody knows what we’re talking about.

How do we abbreviate on and off? What kind of idiotic seventh century Middle English philologist came up with the idea of having on and off start with the same letter? Whoever it was didn’t foresee light and power switches becoming integral parts of our daily existence. Those of us who receive excessive AARP junk mail can’t read the tiny letters on the switches. A large O or F we might see.

Recently I’ve noted the abbreviations O and – to designate on and off. What does that mean? Both words begin with O and neither has an – in it.

Foo is the answer. Foo is similar enough to off that the constantly evolving English language will adapt to it in no time (dyslexics might not even notice the difference.) We obviously can’t reverse on because not only is no already a commonly used word, but because no more easily associates with off than on.

Foo is the beginning of relatively few words, food, foot, fool, none of which are antithetical to off. When you attempt to fool someone, aren’t you trying to throw them off?

In the case of a certain bunny-knock them off
It’s a good fit.

What about ffo. While it’s true that ffo has greater similarity to off, do you really want to pronounce that? Unless you’re Bavarian, or grew up stuttering, it’s difficult to say ffo without an offensive (fooensive?) spray of saliva.

"Honey, turn ffo the lights and come to bed."

You think a little spittle on your lover’s face is going to help you get lucky?

Nah, Foo is better. The fooshoot? Do not fooer foo-color or foohand foolishness to fooicious fooicers, lest you fooend.

I like the sound of it; let’s get started. You grab a dictionary; I’ll get the white-out.

Signing Foo.