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A Brief Rant on RAFO

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Slowswift

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So, as you all know, Brandon Sanderson, everybody's favorite author, likes to answer some of the questions thrown at him with the phrase "RAFO". It, of course, stands for "Read and Find Out."

Or -- if you didn't know, Brandon Sanderson, everybody's favorite author, likes to answer some of the questions thrown at him with the phrase "RAFO". It stands for "Read and Find Out." :)

Anyways, whether or not you've heard it before is irrelevant. The point is, that phrase -- "Read and Find Out" -- is almost universally dreaded by the entire fandom. Countless fans have proposed theories after digging around the Cosmere (Sanderson's in-text universe) and got nothing in reply except a smug little RAFO.

I actually hate it for a different reason than most people.

I had been operating under the assumption that "Read and Find Out" meant, well, to go read and find out. I thought that if you got an RAFO that meant all the clues were there, you just had to go figure it out.

Apparently I was mistaken.

It's generally used as a "no comment" of sorts by Brandon, used whenever he can't or won't answer a fan's question. I actually knew that -- it's just that I had been taking it literally, instead of how it's apparently supposed to be used.

There are, in fact, little business-style cards he hands out with a big RAFO on them. They say:

card_rafo.jpg

Which annoyed me quite a bit when I first saw it. I mentioned in one theory that perhaps the answer was hidden in the text, hence the RAFO that was received. I was promptly corrected.

I get that the question can't be answered right now -- but could we please use a slightly less ambiguous term? Why say "Read and Find Out" when you don't actually mean to go read and find out?

Simply put, I think a "sorry, can't answer" or a "no comment" would work much better, even though RAFO is rather catchy.

Anyways, that's my take on the issue. Note that some people might not even think there isan issue (feel free to argue you points down in the comments if this is you). Also note that I'm not trying to single out or offend Brandon or anybody else. I'm just trying to state the problem I have with a common phrase.

Good night, and thank you for your time. :)

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Well presumably the Bandersnatch has time constraints, and may not have the time to explain precisely why he won't answer each and every question--and the act of explaining might give away too much.

 

Even so, some clarifications for "RAFO--wait and see" and "RAFO--I'm never talking about this again" would be grand.

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Young Bard

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I think that the 'RAFO' has become one of Sanderson's trademarks (even though he didn't actually invent it), so to change it now would be to eliminate part of the whole culture that surrounds signings.

 

In short, I think maybe when Jordan created it, he might have been able to find a better term, but now that it's so well known and used, the term is a little late to change.

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