Monday, April 4, 2011

After the AFD dust's settled

‘When the dust has settled.’ says this idiom means ‘when matters have calmed down’, and it uses ‘dust’ in the sense of turmoil or commotion – a usage dating from the early nineteenth century [1]. Three days on, it’s reasonable to think the dust’s settled on April Fools Day 2011. In last Friday’s post I sallied forth with a brief AFD rant, rating its humour somewhere between adolescent and undergraduate. I didn’t take a huge amount of notice of AFD 2011, but to the extent I did, I feel vindicated. Gizmodo wrote of ‘The most diabolical pranks of the year’ [2]. I found none of them remotely funny. Or clever. Then GigaOM had a go – starting with a bit of interesting AFD history and then seguing into its ‘Favorite April Fools’ Pranks, Japes and Tomfoolery [3]’. They’re all tech oriented, and to me slightly funnier than gizmodo’s offerings. But still pretty feeble. Each year Google Chrome’s blog comes up with an AFD post. They usually show imagination. This year’s was no exception [4]. Titled ‘Improving finger dexterity for faster web browsing’, it starts seriously as if trying to fly in under the reader’s radar. But line-by-line it gradually degenerates into overt farce. It didn’t cause me to chuckle, but my face muscles did move slightly towards a smile. Also I found the Wikipedia ‘Words per minute’ link fascinating [5]. So that’s AFD for 2011. My final verdict? I think this guy’s right on the money [6].

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