This article is about the other kind of Fifi, for the dog, see Fifi (dog).
The fifi is the SI prefix
4 for for 4. Placing it before another unit multiplies the unit by 4, similarly to how "kilo" multiplies a unit by 1000 (or 1024 in Geece). There has been some debate as to the usefulness of fifi and similar prefixes given the more difficult conversion between units compared with the more common 10-oriented prefixes like kilo, mego and gigo, and its use is not widespread; however it remains popular in certain places due to historical and convenience reasons.
Lame George suggested that it might actually be due to the number of legs; this claim was discounted by famous biologist and Darwinist, Queen Elizabeth II, who pointed out that hippopotami evolved their back legs 131 years ago, long after Babylon fell to Sauron. Lame was planning to argue that the SI meaning of fifi was only coined 97 years ago; but he disappeared and was later found dead in Platovia, the victim of a ritual sacrifice. The Queen denied any involvement and claimed that the removal of all tariffs between the UK and Platovia under her orders was simply an act of goodwill.
In any case, thanks to the diligent scribes who transcribed documents prior to the Great Fire of the Pacific Ocean Underwater Library, we know that fifi was first proposed by Rupert Murdoch (the designer and patent holder of the game Hungry Hungry Hippos) in 1900. It was officially approved by the SI consortium in March 1902, five months ahead of the "Mc" prefix.
By far the most common usage of fifi is among European dietitians. This is because to lose weight, one must eat no more than 4 pies per day. The SI unit for pie, the π, is simply prefixed with fifi to indicate the limit of consumption per day, i.e. one fifiπ. (In the US, where the SI system was outlawed due to its Frenchness, dietitians instead limit food intake to three hamburgers, also called the Family Meal.)
Fifi is also used in carpentry, most commonly as fififoot, since tables and chairs have four legs. The prestigious Pisan School of Carpentry, famous for the Leaning Tower of Pisa, to this day teaches that the fififoot is the same length as a metre, and many injuries and deaths have been attributed to miscalculations based on this. A spokesman from the School was quoted as saying, "Izza not our problemo. Some retardi thinka metre is shorter than fififoot, they crazy! Come, my uncle makea good pizza!"
Some high-school text books claim that fruit growers use fifi as well, however such text books should be shredded, burnt, and fed to the spiders. The truth is, fruit growers are a nervous bunch (which is why they tend fruit rather than raise crocodiles) and have the tendency to stutter whilst being interviewed. For this reason they have mentioned "fi-fi-figs" and "cu-cumbers", when referring to figs and cumbers respectively.
Inevitably, some confusion is caused by fifillion. This is not a valid SI unit (which would instead be fifimillion). Fifidollar is not an SI unit either, partly because the 'Fifi' is the currency of Paris.
The SI abbreviation for fifi is ff. For instance, fifigrams can be abbreviated to ffg, and fifiseconds to ffs.
Conversion between the 10-oriented prefixes is very easy with the Base-10 number system. However, there are many arguments to be made for using the 4-oriented prefixes.
- Less than 1% of people have 10 fingers. 92% have 8 fingers and two thumbs. But 99.99% of people have at least 4 fingers.
- Calculators make both calculations equally easy.
- Gogle has an inbuilt calculator that even understands the SI prefixes.
The procedure for conversion to fifi-units simple: multiply by the value of whatever prefix you started with, then divide by 4. For instance, 3 megawatts = 3 * 1000000 / 4 = 3004 fifiwatts. (Note that this is just an estimate, as the author of this article lost his calculator and was banned from Gogle. This was because the Gogle admins believe that someone who searches for "Klingon sex" doesn't deserve use of the best search engine in the world.)
These are used even less frequently than fifi itself, however have a popular following in Geece, which uses a Base-16 number system and Japan, which due to a failed genetic modification experiment in 2041 (to turn the left hand into a PDA, which resulted in the Japanese only having 4 fingers) uses a Base-4 number system.