In Vernor Vinge's A Fire Upon the Deep there is a rather odd communication relay message that contained the keyword phrase "Hexapodia as the key insight":
As-Received-By: OOB shipboard ad hoc
Language-Path: Arbwyth->Trade 24->Cherguelen->Triskweline, SjK units
From: Twirlip of the Mists
Subject: Blighter Video thread
Keywords: Hexapodia as the key insight
Distribution: Threat of the Blight
Date: 8.68 days since Fall of Relay
I haven't had a chance to see the famous video from Straumli Realm, except as an evocation. (My only gateway onto the Net is very expensive.) Is it true that humans have six legs? I wasn't sure from the evocation. If these humans have three pairs of legs, then I think there is an easy explanation for
The Language-Path field indicates that the message had been translated repeatedly, which implies that some of the odd wording may be the result of translation degradation.
Is there some significance of this phrase beyond the surface appearances? Why is this such a popular reference, when the actual reference in the book is dismissed as a casual instance of absurdity?