Hose name failure on localhost

I'm new to GNOME.  When I start an error message appears which is

"Could not look up internet address for foo [the name of my main
computer].  This will prevent GNOME from operating correctly.  It may be
possible to correct the problem by adding xyz to /etc/hosts.

the relevant line of /etc/hosts reads:	localhost	foo.bar		foo
[similar for a couple of other hosts on my home network]

Does anyone have any ideas what isn't working?

The plot was designed in a light vein that somehow became varicose.
		-- David Lardner

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