What annoys me most is people offering the xkcd "be nice to people who don't know" comic as a response to someone saying "just fucking Google it!" It is NOT an apt comparison - in the comic, the people are apparently walking on a sidewalk or something. They're certainly not at a computer. They are in a position where asking the question to another person is WAY more efficient than looking it up yourself online. If you are asking the question on an Internet forum, you are in a position to just as easily (if not with more ease) paste the relevant term into Google and see what comes up.
Turning to Google first is preferable for a million reasons. Let's see if I can name them all:
1) You might actually learn MORE than your specific question!
2) The people on the Internet forum might be full of shit!
3) YOU can be the smart one when someone ELSE asks the easy-to-figure-out-for-yourself question!
4) You can avoid feeling stupid when it turns out to be something super obvious!
5) ... OK, that's all I've got for now, it's close enough to a million.
Obviously not every question can be answered via Google as efficiently as by asking people in a forum. But a) that's no reason not to try first anyway and b) it's not too difficult to predict which questions are going to fit that mold. The Cirith Ungol thread where I had this argument before is a perfect example: The comic was called Cirith Ungol, the person in the comic was in a cave, it's not too difficult to guess Cirith Ungol might be some kind of place being referenced. There's absolutely zero valid reason not to type Cirith Ungol into Google if you don't get the reference and are curious. It is a concrete, non-subjective term that you can find in a matter of seconds.
Or in this thread: The original post was made at 12:05 am (by my timezone); the first post mentioning Churchill was made six minutes later, and the first post expressly saying it was a Churchill quote was not made until almost three hours later ... in the form of a link that is the very first result if you type "blood toil sweat and tears" into Google. I don't think it necessarily applies here, because the poster claimed after the fact that they knew it was a quote all along, but if they HAD not known, Google would have been infinitely more efficient.
And finally, I don't buy this argument at all:
yawningdog wrote:"I'm really not trying to be belligerent, but were you so concerned with being the first person to post the comic that you did not want to spend any time on a quick google search of the quote?"
"It was originally a Churchill quote. Randall added some funny suffixes."
Wow. Actually answering the question takes less effort that being condescending and snarky. Were you so concerned with being belligerent that you did not want to spend any time on a quick, helpful reply?
I am a newspaper reporter. If one of my colleagues is repeatedly coming to me with questions related to stories he is working on, and his questions are all easily answerable via a simple search in our paper's archives, I should just keep answering his questions rather than making him aware of this great source of information available at his fingertips, a resource that will save BOTH of us time AND make him more informed than a simple answer from me would be anyway? Sorry, I think just answering his single questions one at a time is by far the stupider, crueler way to go.
Give a man a fish, and all that. If you don't know the expression, Google it.