Re: THEORY: Reduplication
|From:||John Cowan <jcowan@...>|
|Date:||Friday, May 24, 2002, 16:10|
Roger Mills scripsit:
> >Note also toto, titi, tata, tutu = foo, bar, baz, quux.
> >In Italian it's pippo, pluto, paperino; and in Dutch, aap, noot, mies.
> Culturally deprived midwesterner is unfamiliar with Toto. Dare I ask what
> these mean and/or refer to?
Computer hackers need more neuter pronouns than typical natural languages
provide, so "foo" means "the first thing I need to refer to", "bar" means
"the second thing", etc. Mundane analogues are the lawyers' use
of "John Doe" and "Richard Roe" for persons (ha!) and "Whiteacre" and
"Blackacre" for real estate.
Non-anglophone hackers created their own versions of these.
The French ones are joke-based; the Italian ones are Disney characters
(Goofy, Pluto, Donald Duck respectively), the Dutch ones are supposedly
derived from rudimentary Dutch reading lessons.
For the etymology of "foo", see http://www.isi.edu/in-notes/rfc3092.txt .
John Cowan <jcowan@...> http://www.reutershealth.com
I amar prestar aen, han mathon ne nen, http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
han mathon ne chae, a han noston ne 'wilith. --Galadriel, _LOTR:FOTR_