Re: FAQs/REFs/COMs, Legitimacy (was Re: Style/History of FAQs (was...))


Al Gilman (
Mon, 5 May 1997 17:12:41 -0400 (EDT)

There is a certain Darwinian quality to language. A Bon Mot
enters the vocabulary as a work of art, with a crisp meaning.
Being recognized as something desirable, people imitate the
inventor. Being human, they abuse the meaning some. The crisp
definition of sense is ground off amidst the pounding surf of
widespread use in conversation. Eventually, what the common
lexicon contains is a notion which is only as clear as the market
will bear.

We should be happy that the original concept of a FAQ had been
recognized as a good idea. Imitation is the sincerest form of
flattery; even if the term gets debased some in the process.
Unless we are going to promise to answer all possible questions
with True FAQs, we should probably take some pride in the
imitation and get on with life.

Al Gilman