Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Foobar Snafu

Programmers have used "foo" and "bar" as variable names for years. I wonder how many realised that "foobar" is an acronym for Fu@ked Up Beyond All Repair. It was only when I watched "Saving Private Ryan" that I learned this. I guess my non-military career has kept me ignorant.
Today, courtesy of the Discovery Channel, I dicovered that "snafu" is also an acronym: Situation Normal: All Fu@ked Up. This is confirmed by the Webster On-Line Dictionary. Of course some say that the F-word comes from a mis-spelling of "Found Under Compromising Circumstances", referring to men caught in the paid company of prostitutes. Webster has other ideas on this touchy subject, and doesn't list foobar at all. Isn't the English language just filled with wonderful words?

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