Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Compleat History of Haiku

I was all set to post one of those classic pieces of internet humor that pops up every year like the Wizard of Ozon network TV*, but I thought it might be fun to first find out where it came from. It's possible it sprang directly from God's lips**, but hey, color me skeptical.

I immediately put my research team on it. They spent hundreds of hours tracing the unbelievably long chain of email forwards, forging onward through eye-numbing amounts of flashing emoticons and lime green bold CAPS TEXT, until they reached the ultimate prize; yes, we found the source! And you, gentle reader, are about to reap the benefit of our exhaustive search***.

With one simple click
Haiku Error Messages'
origins will be revealed

Long story short, Salon Magazine ran the Haiku Error Message Challenge waaaay back in 1998, which is, gosh, like a century in Internet years. We've been inflicting the... forwarding the results to random strangers friends ever since.

Spread the word, and together we can banish forever the rumor that these were created by the Japanese to replace the standard Windows error messages. C'mon! We all know the truth:

Permission to change
Microsoft's precious source code
is not forthcoming

-- Liz C

* Am I dating myself here? Do they still do that?

** Fossil record? What fossil record?

*** OK, so I did a Google search. Sue me.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I think they still do show TWOO every year on some poor network. I really hate that movie. Does that make me a bad person? It traumatized me as a child.

    Love the haiku. I think the first time I ever saw it was actually a 238th generation photocopy on paper. Still makes me laugh though. Good comedy endures, no matter how old.

    Speaking of old stuff, my buddy Tom and I have a shorthand for well-traveled (old) web content: we call it Gore.. in honor of the web's inventor. If he sends me some ancient video because he thinks it's new, I'll reply, "Gore, jackass!" or "Thanks, Al. I loved that... 25 years ago." If it's really bad, we'll call each other Tipper. If you get Tipper, you know you've really sent some fossilized web shit.

    We find ourselves using this a lot.


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