Two questions I couldn’t get answered

So far today I've had two questions I wanted to find answers to, but neither the new MSN Search nor Google could help me.

Can anyone out there help?

1) Where did the phrase "Between you and me and the fence post" come from? (I know that it means something should be kept a secret)

2) How many miles of film did James Cameron go through while shooting "Titanic"? (I know it took about seven months)


P.S. James, if you're reading -- I LOVED the film! Call me and we'll do lunch.

P.P.S. I promise I have some "real" content on the way... it's just taking me some time to write it.

Comments (7)

  1. Eberlin says:

    I’m sorry to have to inform you that the signature on the ratings certificate looked dangerously analog to me…

  2. Steven says:

    Erm, I did a Google Search for:

    "feet of film" titanic cameron

    6th link on the list mentions "The production budget for John Cameron’s Titanic (1997), which had a 6 month (163 day) shoot, has been reported to be 200 million dollars, making it Hollywood’s most expensive movie. Cameron exposed 1.3 million feet of film (240 hours and 45 minutes) which was edited down to 3 hours, 14 minutes."


    1.3 million feet is 246 miles.

  3. "Between you, me, and the fencepost" comes from the age-old image of women gossiping with their neighbors over the fence between their properties. This is also the etymology for the phrase "fencepost gossip."

    The American newspaper comic "Snuffy Smith" borrows this imagery regularly (see for a recent example.

    The german language has a similar word ("kaffeeklatsch") for gossip spread over coffee.

  4. Rich C says:

    I’m pretty sure you’ll find that #1 comes from neighborly conversations along the fence line. It’s in indication that the only ones that are going to hear the information are you, me, and the nearby fence post.

  5. Peter Torr says:

    Steven — thanks, I swear I tried every combination of "feet of film" and "miles of film" and "Titanic" and "James Cameron" I could think of, but never got that hit…

    I think the problem was that whilst I put "miles of film" in quotes, I never tried "feet of film" in quotes; just removing the quotes gives a significant difference in results.

    Just goes to show you how finicky search engines are (and why isn’t that the *first* result?).

    Not sure I trust that number 100% though because I’ve seen several sources say it was a seven-month shoot.

    And thanks everyone else for the other quote!

  6. Steven says:

    The questions I usually can’t get answered are things which are not clearly put in words (except really generic terms). This is mostly the case to describe an absence of something, so you don’t have an occurence to search for (or an error message).

    For instance: if Internet explorer doesn’t start, but only causes the hourglass cursor to show for second or so.

    How would you search for that? (Note: I don’t have a problem with IE, it’s just an example).

    Another example (with a problem I do have): why does Windows Explorer sometimes stall for several minutes when starting a programs from shortcut hotkeys? Bearing in mind that hitting the hotkeys doesn’t always cause this delay and that Explorer doesn’t stall if I start the same shortcut using the mouse or keyboard to navigate through the start menu.

    The latter is a program I can put into words and another human being will understand just fine, but I can’t for the life of me get any relevant results on Google, MSN or any other search engine. (I wish I could, it makes my Windows life quite annoying).

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