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Text 118 question stream
November 24, 2008 3:28 PM   Subscribe

The mesmerizing live question feed from text118118.com shows questions from curious UK residents. The answers are always polite and reasonable complete and accurate. Sometimes you can see one person submitting the same question or a string of related questions.
posted by closetphilosopher (70 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
I meant reasonably complete
posted by closetphilosopher at 3:30 PM on November 24, 2008


Mesmerizing. Like an abridged AskMe on crack.
posted by piratebowling at 3:37 PM on November 24, 2008 [5 favorites]


ha! Favorite exchange:

Q: Oh, tu rebelle, tu.
A: Every day we recive a few questions, like yours, which we cannot answer.

posted by piratebowling at 3:39 PM on November 24, 2008


It's awesome to imagine the questions being asked and answered in real time as they scroll by.
posted by Science! at 3:41 PM on November 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Do you like dirty girls"
"I prefer girls who have adequate hygiene and are mature for their age"

posted by Fiasco da Gama at 3:42 PM on November 24, 2008


Although, it also just said that Mormons don't celebrate Chirstmas or Birthdays, so I think their info is a little suspect.
posted by piratebowling at 3:43 PM on November 24, 2008


Erm? Really?
posted by public at 3:45 PM on November 24, 2008


Apparently the Everton vs. Wigan soccer game today is a hot topic among people with cell phones in the UK.
posted by Science! at 3:49 PM on November 24, 2008


Brilliant! It has the same weird question and straight answer feel as the ever-wonderful McDonalds Q&A site.
posted by patricio at 3:50 PM on November 24, 2008


I ate a pie is that bad? No, pies are delicious and scrumptious. There is never a bad time to eat pie.
posted by you at 3:55 PM on November 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Q: Does it hurt to give birth?
A: Yes. Thx
posted by rongorongo at 3:58 PM on November 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Q: I need something interesting 2 talk about with my boyfriend what can i talk about
A: Ask him to tell you something about himself he hasn't told you before.To a man,a conversation needs a purpose


...also: DTMFA
posted by pompomtom at 4:04 PM on November 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


So, how long do they take to answer?

Q: What time is the last train from new cross to london bridge tonight
A: The last train was at 23:36. thx

posted by pompomtom at 4:06 PM on November 24, 2008


Well, it's a lot better than Yahoo Answers.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:14 PM on November 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


From the "where we are" page:

118 118 is operated by The Number from three specialised call centres, in Cardiff, Plymouth and Manila.
posted by mdonley at 4:17 PM on November 24, 2008


LOLBritannia:

Q: I don't understand a joke in the vicar of dibley, involving nuns in a bath and soap , can you explain it
A: The funniest episode was the The Vicar in White. When Geraldine went to the church in her pyjamas. thx

posted by mdonley at 4:19 PM on November 24, 2008


A: 7% of 10000 is 7000. thx

Hrm.
posted by cortex at 4:20 PM on November 24, 2008


Looks like text questions from the UK go to a call center outsourced to the US. That's right world, we have all the answers. Yes, yes, we also have an economy shitty enough that people are outsourcing to us now.
posted by Science! at 4:20 PM on November 24, 2008


Q: Damn, cortex beat me to it.
A: Whoops! Looks like you've texted the 118 Team by mistake! Don't worry, we haven't charged you a penny. thx
posted by infinitewindow at 4:22 PM on November 24, 2008


Q: An infinitely great number? its got 6 letters
A: A zillion is an indefinite & fictitious amount. It is used for inexact terms, indefinite sizes & exagerations


I am officially taking issue.
posted by cortex at 4:23 PM on November 24, 2008


A: 7% of 10000 is 7000. thx

Hrm.


Ask a stupid question, get a stupid answer
posted by 0xFCAF at 4:24 PM on November 24, 2008


Q: To learn japanese do you need to learn another alphabet other than the latin alphabet used in english
A: Yes, absolutely. Learning eastern languages is the hardest thing one can engage in. thx

posted by boo_radley at 4:36 PM on November 24, 2008


hah:

Q: What will my next boyfriend's initial be
A:Your next boyfriend's initial will be MAC, MNB, or RBH. Have a wonderful evening. thx

posted by boo_radley at 4:39 PM on November 24, 2008


Yeah these are pretty bad. They have a single-answer system instead of a consensus algorithm. Bad plan.

I keep waiting for the lawsuit following some surprise death. I'll wager it'll be a question like "How many grams is 200 milligrams."
posted by rokusan at 4:44 PM on November 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


Well, I now know where to find a prostitute in Newcastle. If you'd asked me this morning "soundofsuburbia, what new facts do you think you'll learn today?", I wouldn't have answered that, that's for sure.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 4:48 PM on November 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Q: what is a lepracon
A: If you mean leprechaun, it is a type of male faerie said to inhabit the island of Ireland. thx

Days of entertainment. I love this.
posted by saturnine at 4:51 PM on November 24, 2008


Q: what is the difference between a baby and a refrigerator
A: The difference is that a refrigerator does not cry when you pack the meat in. thx

Amazing.
posted by lostburner at 4:54 PM on November 24, 2008 [6 favorites]


Q: Is my mum seeing carlo
A: If they are friends then chances are they might see each other for a lunch or a dinner. thx


Oh Carlo, you scamp.
posted by Cantdosleepy at 4:57 PM on November 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


The jokes on them because now I don't have to pay the fee and I'll (eventually) have every question I could ever ask, answered!
posted by DU at 4:58 PM on November 24, 2008


It's Dr. Know, from A.I. "Where is Blue Fairy?"
posted by steef at 4:58 PM on November 24, 2008


Q: A Fat Joke?
A: Bill was so fat when he stepped on the scale it said, To be continued. thx
posted by empath at 5:00 PM on November 24, 2008


Q: What is the name of Kims futre husband
A: His name might be Bruno or Matthew. thx

Text118118, predicting the future.
posted by lostburner at 5:04 PM on November 24, 2008


Every day we recive a few questions, like yours, which we cannot answer.

Can we get that as a flag in AskMe? Or at least a canonical deletion reason?
posted by stet at 5:07 PM on November 24, 2008 [5 favorites]


Q: Mum didn't raise me well tho... I'm a failure
A: No person is a failure, it's just that some still don't have the chance to prove theirselves. thx

*cries* It's like watching It's a Wonderful Life!
posted by jaduncan at 5:13 PM on November 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


Working in their call centre is like a form of hell on earth.
posted by GuyZero at 5:21 PM on November 24, 2008


Q: Am u gay
A: Yes.
posted by GuyZero at 5:22 PM on November 24, 2008


"Working in their any call centre is like a form of hell on earth."

Fixed that for you.
posted by saturnine at 5:28 PM on November 24, 2008


Q: Hard or soft?
A: Just the normal one. A normal bowel movement is having 1 movement each day. thx

o_0
posted by jaduncan at 5:34 PM on November 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Good. I need a fresh hell. When do they outsource the calling centre to Canada? I've been TRAINING ALL MY LIFE.
posted by maudlin at 5:36 PM on November 24, 2008


"Dear AskMe, is Text 118 all knowing?"

Answer: No. Text 118 is a charismatic false prophet who will eventually lead you astray. He is very charming and personable, but one day, he will break your heart.

Also, as the Antichrist, his coming portends the final battle between Heaven and Earth.

thx.

posted by quin at 5:44 PM on November 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


Q: What does Popeye do to keep his tool from rusting?
A: Sticks it in Olive Oyl.

lol.
posted by cucumberfresh at 6:09 PM on November 24, 2008


I've done some work for ChaCha, replying to questions for $0.10 per answer. It's a lot like this. Lots of sports scores, unpredictable future questions, personal information on non-celebrities, and sex questions.Fuck ChaCha. They have to be the absolute worst company in the world to work for, in terms of their systems fucking up repeatedly and an absolute lack of communication from their leadership. Fuck ChaCha in the goat ass.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 6:16 PM on November 24, 2008


Who needs AI when you can just pay people a pittance to work?
posted by smackfu at 6:28 PM on November 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


spike: yes. yes indeed.
posted by DMan at 6:34 PM on November 24, 2008


So hows u doing tnight? Can ya guess who this is? lol
posted by WinnipegDragon at 7:07 PM on November 24, 2008


Although, it also just said that Mormons don't celebrate Chirstmas or Birthdays, so I think their info is a little suspect.
posted by piratebowling at 3:43 PM on November 24 [+] [!]


Fundamentalist polygamous Mormons (FLDS) do not celebrate Christmas or birthdays under prophet Warren Jeffs, so they are right if they consider those fundamentalists to be the true Mormon church.
posted by Maias at 7:34 PM on November 24, 2008


Q: I like scary spice.
A: I like baby spice. thx.
posted by desjardins at 7:42 PM on November 24, 2008


Q: What's the best way to kill a man?
A: The best way to kill a man, is with kindness.



Cool.
posted by Mephisto at 8:26 PM on November 24, 2008


Q: Largest jaffa cake was about 8 foot in diameter,made in britain,was a world record.now come on,whats your favorite movie,its nearly christmas xx

A: My favourite movie is Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town. thx

posted by tapeguy at 9:04 PM on November 24, 2008


Oh, that one is wrong Mephisto. The best way to kill a man is through some form of undetectable poision: Botulinum, Ricin, Anthrax, whatever. It gives you distance and deniability, but it really is no fun.

Some like the gun, or the bomb, personally, I prefer the knife.

Though I was raised to think outside the box. When I was ten, my mother explained that the best way would be a drop of molten lead applied into the aural canal; it would go straight to the brain, and who would think to look for it?

Still, I think that some kind of alkali-metal cored projectile could be neat, but my real love, and hope for the future of homicidal intellectual exercises is a bird trained to administer some kind of psychotropic/ hypnotic agent which compels the subject to take out a target and them themselves. Sort of a Manchurian Chicken Candidate thing, I guess.
posted by quin at 9:19 PM on November 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Q: Wher are the 118 txts centres based

A: We are everywhere. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year


I detect a distinct note of menace.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:24 PM on November 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Sort of a Manchurian Chicken Candidate thing, I guess.

MKFCULTRA
posted by cortex at 9:28 PM on November 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm slightly wiser and dumber for having spent five minutes watching that.
posted by maxwelton at 9:38 PM on November 24, 2008


Interesting indeed! They don't do a very good job, though - it seems that about 5% of the answers are just flat out wrong. But I couldn't stop watching...
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:35 PM on November 24, 2008


Q: Where does the word "tea" come from?

A: Italy.

WTF guys?
posted by longbaugh at 1:43 AM on November 25, 2008


I used to work for one of these companies (AQA). We were under instruction to always give an answer of some kind, like a related fact. Given the limited number of characters in a text, there often wasn't space to explain that's what we were doing, so you'd just get sent the non-secutur fact without being able to say it's not meant as an answer to the question.

The system automatically suggested previous answers from our archive. It was much easier to just send one of these exactly as is even if it wasn't quite appropriate, which is why often the tone of the answer doesn't match that of the question. It's also relatively easy to pick the wrong one.

We were also under strict instruction to keep our answers to a minimum length, which wasn't that far off the maximum length, hence weird grammar common at txt end. Replacing one word with a slightly shorter (or longer) near-synonym was something you did a lot, even if the sentence no longer made perfect sense.

Hopefully that explains some of the weird way these questions are answered.
posted by cillit bang at 3:42 AM on November 25, 2008 [3 favorites]


Also, crucially, the vast majority of questions coming in were completely fucking stupid.
posted by cillit bang at 3:43 AM on November 25, 2008


so would you say there's a high correlation between the stupidity of the questions & the stupidity of people paying for pointless text messages to ask those stupid questions?
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:50 AM on November 25, 2008


You can even use the smell-o-phone apparently:

Q: Do I stink?
A: The 118 team doesn't think so, you do not smell bad. thx

posted by jonesor at 4:48 AM on November 25, 2008


Yeah, religion isn't their strong point.

Q: Q: Whats the most popular religion in the world?
A: Islam is the most popular & number 1 religion in the world. thx

posted by rottytooth at 5:28 AM on November 25, 2008


Q: My mother is dead
A: Maybe there is someone who borrowed it from your place. thx

posted by rottytooth at 5:29 AM on November 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Q: More people are killed annually by donkeys than in plane crashes
A: Yes it's true. Text us more questions you like.


So the best way to kill a man is to have a donkey kick them in the head.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:43 AM on November 25, 2008


Q: Will pete stamford go to heaven or hell
A: No published info found. However, Pete Stamford is from London. thx

Q: What is your favourite sex position
A: The missionary. It is comfortable and allows a great deal of body contact. thx


This is great.
posted by languagehat at 5:55 AM on November 25, 2008


First Woman in Line: Where is the passenger processing lounge for the lunar shuttle?
Information Agent: Concourse lounge C, fourth level.
First Woman in Line: Thank you.
Next Woman in Line: How long is my parking permit good for?
Information Agent: Two hours.
Next Woman in Line: Thank you.
Next Man: What's the fastest animal on Earth?
Information Agent: The cheetah.
Female Passenger #3: Should I fake my orgasms?
Information Agent: Yes.

posted by The Whelk at 6:49 AM on November 25, 2008


Oh man:

Q: Who would win in a fight, ruth jackson ross muir. No weapons, anything goes

A: We think that to let them fight is not a good idea. It is better that they will be good friends.

I can watch this all day.
posted by bookwo3107 at 7:19 AM on November 25, 2008


Wow, right now you can tell that school's finished for the day...
posted by Helga-woo at 8:51 AM on November 25, 2008


cillit bang: "I used to work for one of these companies (AQA)..."

Ha! Me too. Your explanation's spot on, as well. :) The trouble was that I'd always try too hard to give a good answer, at the expense of pushing up my average time-per-question, hence driving my wage down. I did enjoy the riddles people sent in, though.
posted by Drexen at 9:02 AM on November 25, 2008


Is there an American equivalent to this?
posted by desjardins at 11:28 AM on November 25, 2008


Is there an American equivalent to this?

ChaCha, but I don't think there's not as extensive of a live stream
posted by piratebowling at 11:49 AM on November 25, 2008


Q: In chess do you have to take a piece if you can
A: Yes, in chess you have to take a piece those are the rules. thx

Q: Is being gay and magical the same thing
A: Yes, most gays can make you happy even if you are in so much sadness. thx

posted by verstegan at 3:22 PM on November 25, 2008


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