Posted by Robert on March 15, 2003
In Reply to: Responses posted by S. Ryan on February 27, 2003
: : :
: : : Here sometimes, and other places frequently, someone asks a questions and the response is, in affect, go look somewhere else.
: : : An example nearby is someone asks about '23 skidoo' and the response is in affect 'go search the archives, we've no time for your kind'
: : : Why do you invite people and them shove them off?
: : I wouldn't have thought it offensive to be directed to the archives (or to be given an off-site link when the information wanted is on a different site). Most queries here are answered by volunteers who aren't officially associated with the site and who get no tangible compensation. We donate our time to answer questions posed by strangers.
: : Many people ask questions without checking the archives first. If the answer is already there, telling someone where he can find the information is much like giving directions to a stranger on the street who has asked where the county courthouse is. If I tell the person which way to walk to get to the courthouse, I've done my job. I'm not also obligated to take him by the hand and walk there myself.
: : When I first stumbled into the archives, I was lost for days before ever submitting a request to the forum. It is a truly fascinating place for fellow teachers and students. Any request I have ever submitted has been answered with civility, even a direction to previous archived discussion in a different area. No dismissal or offense ever implied or perceived.
I had frequently heard that the origin of "23-skidoo" came from an expression that constuction workers used while building the Flatiron Building on 23rd Street in N.Y.C. 23rd Street is one of the wider streets in New York that is like an uninterrupted wind-tunnel between the East and Hudson Rivers. Frequently, when one is walking north or south on the avenues and comes to such an intersection, they can experience a sudden blast of wind as soon as the pass the wall of a corner building. Apparently, when the workers sat on the sidewalk to eat their lunches, they would watch women's skirts blow up from the sudden gusts. I had long been told that these workers called this phenomenon a "23-skidoo".