FAQ Off

I’m beginning to get irritated by FAQs. Recently I bounced into a site’s FAQ section and got stuck reading them all. Compelling reading it isn’t, yet fear drove me to scan the lot in case the answer to number 63 would have made my life complete. It didn’t. I found nothing helpful at all. In fact, several should have been in different section such as the OCOTSSICOEHBAO: Oh Come On, That’s so Stupid It Can Only Ever Have Been Asked Once. A bit like The Ostrich FAQ website which contains the question How do you spell ostrich?

Why do we even go in to the FAQ section? ‘Search’ produces an answer quicker, unless you’re feeling vague, in which case FAQs would be correct as you get 15 answers and don’t have to think of a question. Or even think.

Some websites produce a terrific array of FAQ answers. From Practical Reptile Keeping:  Is it true that you can age a tortoise by counting the rings on it shell? (You want to know now, don’t you? Curiosity strikes. The answer was no, it’s not reliable). FAQs tell me that to be a Disney Princess you have to measure between 137 and 194 cm and be highly energetic (that’s me out; not height. Energy). The National Railway Museum, in response to the question Can I drive a train? says Yes which is news to me. Perhaps it was a bolt-on extra for my driving licence. Check it out for yourself and find out if you too can drive a train.

I do wonder if it be more useful to have a section on FAQs in life, such as how are you today? Have you grown or am I shorter? Did you come by the M1? Should I marry him? Perhaps there should also be website with impossible questions to get people thinking. What is the meaning of life? How much is in the pot at the end of a rainbow? Should bishops wear bunny ears at Easter?

Officialdom asking me FAQs is ludicrous. The government already knows my date of birth, where I was born, my mother’s maiden name etc. It would be nice to have a personal information page and on every official form a Suck it Across, Buddy button, to self populate the form. The frustration levels of the nation would halve.

I’m currently setting up my own website and feel that a section of FAQs would be fun, but I have a moral dilemma. The things I want to tell people about me may not have been asked frequently or even at all. If somebody’s asked you something twice but most other questions only once, does that count as frequently? Is it cheating to get your best friend to ask you a question and then ask it again?

I’m also considering having a style award in my FAQs. Be great to generate really interesting FAQs, although it might be difficult to get the same random, whimsical question asked twice. Best friend alert, or an OAO (Only Asked Once) page.

My most recent FAQs are Do I want more tea and Should I have breakfast yet? The fact that this blog ends here would suggest that the answer to both was yes. But I must confess, I cheated. I took the answer from the National Railway Museum website.

 

Alison Gardiner 2014

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About alisongardiner1

Writer of YA series of books. Broadcaster/podcaster Litopia After Dark.
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