Question: In last week's column, you asked where the phrase "What does it mean?" originated. Funnily enough, that same day I happened to catch the episode of Friends where Phoebe finds out that Ross and Rachel kissed and exclaims, "What does it mean?" I am not sure if that is what you were thinking of. Lisa
Ausiello: Wow, everyone had an opinion about this. But after careful review, during which I ruled out a number of possibilities posed by "Ask Ausiello" readers (including sound bites from Close Encounters, The Sound of Music and Seinfeld), a vast majority of you traced this catchphrase back to the Friends moment described above. And I'm inclined to agree. Thanks for your help!