What was the shortest AskMe question without [more inside]? February 16, 2010 6:38 PM   Subscribe

What was the shortest AskMe question without [more inside]?
posted by Joe Beese to MetaFilter-Related at 6:38 PM (76 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

Something about a bookstore cat?
posted by fixedgear at 6:42 PM on February 16, 2010


fixedgear: "Something about a bookstore cat"

There's another 7 word question just a few down the page. Must be pretty common.

I figure the record must be closer to 4.
posted by Joe Beese at 6:45 PM on February 16, 2010


Penis hurts, what now?
posted by fixedgear at 6:47 PM on February 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


DTMF?
posted by DU at 6:51 PM on February 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


fixedgear: "Penis hurts, what now"

Contraeponysterical.
posted by Joe Beese at 6:53 PM on February 16, 2010 [7 favorites]


The InfoDump could ascertain this for sure.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:05 PM on February 16, 2010


Hypothesis: some of the contenders for shortest question were deleted.
posted by box at 7:07 PM on February 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hypothesis supported.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:13 PM on February 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Old. Eat it?
posted by unSane at 7:13 PM on February 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


My fond hope is, somebody's asked "Why God? Why?" or some variation, and it's stood. Maybe way way early in AskMe history when it was still a part of MeTa.
posted by cgc373 at 7:15 PM on February 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Foreskin?
posted by Mid at 7:16 PM on February 16, 2010


DTMFA, Y/N? [prev]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:18 PM on February 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Claws?
posted by ocherdraco at 7:20 PM on February 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


There must be some three word "X or Y?" questions, and I suspect there are at least a couple two-worders in the "X? Y?" vein.
posted by rokusan at 7:22 PM on February 16, 2010


The InfoDump could ascertain this for sure.

Unfortunately, I haven't gotten around to adding post lengths yet (though we do have comment lengths, so if you want to go looking for extremely short or long answers or do weird things like calculate highest favorite-per-character numbers you can do that). The changes to make that possible are in progress but I haven't polished it up yet.

Post length is a bit dicier than comment length since there are multiple fields involved and it varies from subsite to subsite and within subsites over time (addition of [more inside] field in various places, removal of link field from metatalk at some point, etc).
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:23 PM on February 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Not a question, but a one word title: Union
posted by iconomy at 7:24 PM on February 16, 2010


In a quick review of the infodump posttitles_askme.txt there are thousands of questions with one letter up to two or three words. I'm not going to go to the effort to relate them to which ones were deleted but it looks like a safe bet that the shortest question that ever stood was less than a full word before the fold.
posted by Babblesort at 7:24 PM on February 16, 2010


Yeah I saw the enchanting "tent house?" before the fold question and recalled that it was the shortest quesiton I'd seen in a while. There was more inside.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:28 PM on February 16, 2010


Ok I looked up one. Here is the earliest AskMe I can find that has one character above the fold.

=
posted by Babblesort at 7:30 PM on February 16, 2010


The InfoDump could ascertain this for sure."

Complicated by more inside not being built in at the beginning.

I can tell you that the shortest FPP, subsequently deleted, was a single "."
posted by Mitheral at 7:34 PM on February 16, 2010


I think Joe Beese means "what is the shortest question that does not also have a [more inside]?", not "what is the shortest question if you don't count the [more inside] words?"
posted by painquale at 7:40 PM on February 16, 2010


How long until someone just posts "Why?"?
posted by drezdn at 7:41 PM on February 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ok I looked up one. Here is the earliest AskMe I can find that has one character above the fold.

That's just the title of the question, though. That's not the question itself, which is a few sentences long.
posted by jedicus at 7:41 PM on February 16, 2010


Eh?
posted by Mister_A at 7:50 PM on February 16, 2010


I'm pretty sure that, after you do the math, the shortest question was one of the ones that had a [less inside].
posted by koeselitz at 8:03 PM on February 16, 2010


this.
posted by special-k at 8:03 PM on February 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


wut
posted by toodleydoodley at 8:30 PM on February 16, 2010


I was that poster of that single period FPP I think. I offer no apologies
posted by wheelieman at 8:33 PM on February 16, 2010


painquale: "I think Joe Beese means "what is the shortest question that does not also have a [more inside]?", not "what is the shortest question if you don't count the [more inside] words?"

All the other answers have been interesting, but yeah, I was thinking about the whole question - not just the above the fold part.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:33 PM on February 16, 2010




It's like haikus.
posted by smackfu at 8:40 PM on February 16, 2010


"Who is Spain?"
"Why is Hitler?"
"When is right?"
"Where was that stooped and mealy-colored old man I used to call Poppa when the merry-go-round broke down?"
"How was trump at Munich?"
"Ho-ho beriberi."
"Balls!"
All rang out in rapid succession, and then there was Yossarian with the question that had no answer:
"Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear?"
posted by Solon and Thanks at 8:47 PM on February 16, 2010 [15 favorites]


Pocket PC or Palm? (18)

Some questions have not aged well.
posted by GuyZero at 8:48 PM on February 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Best caipirinha recipe? (23)

How can you eat something that looks like a gigantic hamster????
posted by GuyZero at 8:50 PM on February 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Do birds fart? (14)

Some questions, on the other hand, seem to be perennial.
posted by koeselitz at 8:51 PM on February 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


2, 3, 4, 8, and 12 would all make good replacements for "Is the Pope Catholic?"

"Do you want some of these Cheetos?"
"Is Matt Drudge gay?"
posted by Horace Rumpole at 8:57 PM on February 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


pb: "Ran a quick query and here's the Top 20 along with the number of characters in the question"

Outstanding.

"Why have kids?" and "Is Weezer emo?" are a bit chatfilter-y, so I'm going to declare "Do birds fart?" the winner.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:59 PM on February 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Best caipirinha recipe? (23)

How can you eat something that looks like a gigantic hamster????


With Chianti.
posted by Lemurrhea at 9:06 PM on February 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Beans. How much?
posted by txsebastien at 9:09 PM on February 16, 2010


How can you eat something that looks like a gigantic hamster????

A fine AskMe question in its own right.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:11 PM on February 16, 2010


What was the shortest AskMe question without [more inside]?

I'm confused by the "without [more inside]" disclaimer. Why would something with more inside be shorter?
posted by dhammond at 9:17 PM on February 16, 2010


because you'd put "more" "inside" making the above-the-fold question smaller?
posted by GuyZero at 9:22 PM on February 16, 2010


I feel the need to respond to this comment. Birds aren't mammals!
posted by IndigoRain at 9:23 PM on February 16, 2010


top ten One-word answers to the shortest questions:
1. Why have kids?
Because.
2. Is Weezer emo?
No.
3. Do birds fart?
No.
4. Can cats cough?
Yes.
5. What do you TiVo?
Nothing.
6. Is death the end?
Yes.
7. Pocket PC or Palm?
iPhone.
8. Is Matt Drudge gay?
Likely.
9. How old is Web 2.0?
Old.
10. How do psychics work?
Don't.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 9:26 PM on February 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


Sup?
posted by Juicy Avenger at 9:30 PM on February 16, 2010


Jesus wept?
posted by knile at 9:33 PM on February 16, 2010


what
posted by The Whelk at 9:38 PM on February 16, 2010


So why are the short questions largely clustered in 2004?
posted by floam at 9:49 PM on February 16, 2010


How long until someone just posts "Why?"?

Probably just before someone answers "Because."
posted by armage at 10:02 PM on February 16, 2010


9. How old is Web 2.0?
Old.



9. How old is Web 2.0?
Old.

FTFY.
posted by special-k at 10:04 PM on February 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


floam writes "So why are the short questions largely clustered in 2004?"

All the good questions are taken so people need to elaborate to avoid dupes.
posted by Mitheral at 10:14 PM on February 16, 2010


So why are the short questions largely clustered in 2004?
posted by floam


That was the year of the great pixel shortage. You kids, you don't know what it was like back then.
posted by marxchivist at 10:17 PM on February 16, 2010 [16 favorites]


Why?
posted by loquacious at 10:38 PM on February 16, 2010


if you had posted this to askme as: "Shortest AskMe?" it would have been the answer to its own question.
posted by empath at 12:06 AM on February 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


What do?
posted by turgid dahlia at 12:42 AM on February 17, 2010


Someone posted a (deleted) blank to askme several years ago.

"This post removed for the following reason: GODDAMNIT"

I favorited it but it was taken out of there too.
posted by brujita at 12:49 AM on February 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


How can you eat something that looks like a gigantic hamster????

Hey, since we just entered Lent, here comes one of my favorite factoids ever. Catholics aren't supposed to eat meat (except fish) during Lent. But the Roman Catholic Church classifies the football lineman of rodents as a fish, since it lives most of the time on the water (just chillaxing during the summer...) anyway.

Also, their ticks are plague-ridden. When I went to college the university would sometimes put warnings for people to not sit on the lawn, because the fat bastard rats are everywhere (my university had a lake, perfect habitat for them, so there'd always be a few hog-sized rats around), and rub themselves all over the grass, spreading their diseased ticks all over.

Yeah, plague-spreading football lineman fat bastard rats that taste like pork and count as fish for Jesus. How can you NOT eat that?
posted by qvantamon at 2:58 AM on February 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


How Babby?
posted by special-k at 4:42 AM on February 17, 2010


Yeah, plague-spreading football lineman fat bastard rats that taste like pork and count as fish for Jesus. How can you NOT eat that?

I dunno; I'd get awfully attached to the ones with their own YouTube channels.
posted by hangashore at 5:29 AM on February 17, 2010


if you had posted this to askme as: "Shortest AskMe?" it would have been the answer to its own question.

True both in word count and lifespan, I'm afraid.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:21 AM on February 17, 2010


These are like zen koens. I'll go get a plate of beans to meditate these over.
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:37 AM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


I suppose if someone just posts "?" we're done here.

What is a groat cluster? (24)

More like what is a scroat cluster, amirite?

im totally not right
posted by davejay at 7:56 AM on February 17, 2010


Who dat?
posted by explosion at 8:26 AM on February 17, 2010


What's this?
posted by quin at 8:42 AM on February 17, 2010


Huh?
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:44 AM on February 17, 2010


WTF?
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:45 AM on February 17, 2010


So why are the short questions largely clustered in 2004?

We're not really into the whole brevity thing anymore.
posted by rokusan at 11:05 AM on February 17, 2010


I assume that if someone ever posted "Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear?" to AskMe, it'd get deleted. But would it be deleted for chatfilter, or because it's a question with no answer?
posted by nickmark at 11:16 AM on February 17, 2010


"Catholics aren't supposed to eat meat (except fish) during Lent."
Catholics in normal circumstances abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday (today) and the Fridays of Lent. FTFY.
posted by Cranberry at 11:27 AM on February 17, 2010


Bonus points for the inter-author dialogue if this guy did the asking, though.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:29 AM on February 17, 2010


How do I sell unused baby shoes?
posted by barrett caulk at 2:45 PM on February 17, 2010


How do I to sell unused baby shoes? (barrett caulk)

It's six words, barrett caulk. Six.
posted by ocherdraco at 3:12 PM on February 17, 2010


You guys are doing this wrong. The issue should be "what was the shortest answer".

And to Knile's question (Jesus wept?) the answer that the good Mr. Costello would give would be, "He felt abandoned."
posted by Sk4n at 5:46 PM on February 17, 2010


How can a mirror be deep, dark, or truthful, anyway?
posted by koeselitz at 6:28 PM on February 17, 2010


I've got your giant hamster right here.
posted by lukemeister at 5:49 AM on February 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Nu?
posted by matildaben at 6:49 AM on February 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


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