Definitions

Googlewhack

Googlewhack

A Googlewhack is a Google search query consisting of two words that returns a single result. Since 2003, British comedian Dave Gorman has toured Britain, France, Australia, Canada and the United States with a show entitled Dave Gorman's GoogleWhack Adventure, and published a book of the same name. These were based on a true story. While attempting to write a novel for his publisher (Random House) Gorman became obsessed with Googlewhacks and travelled across the world finding people who had authored them. Although he never wrote his novel, he did eventually write a book about his "Googlewhack adventure" which went on to be a Sunday Times #1 best seller in the UK and has also been published in the U.S. and Canada. A translation is in the works for Japan.

Some of the googlewhacks used by Dave Gorman in his book are Francophile Namesakes, dork turnspit, unconstructive superegos, bibliophilic sandwiched, dripstone ingles, mutalisk blastocyst. Due to the attention brought to these searches by the book, very few still actually work.

According to Gorman a true Googlewhack should also be made up of only words that appear in Google's linked dictionary. To check this the searched for words will appear in the searched bar as underlined text indicating that a link existing directing to the words dictionary entry. Otherwise made up and highly unusual words can be entered to make a Googlewhack much more likely.

Participants at Googlewhack.com discovered the sporadic "cleaner girl" bug in Google's search algorithm where "results 1-1 of thousands" were returned for two relatively common words. Further details can be found at: Googlewhack NACK!

Variations

New Scientist has discussed the idea of a Googlewhackblatt, which is similar to a Googlewhack except that it involves finding a single word that produces only one Google result. Lists of these have become available, but as with Googlewhacks they result in the Googlewhackblatt status of the word being destroyed - unless it is blocked by robots.txt or the word doesn't produce any Google results before it is added to the list, thus forming the Googlewhackblatt Paradox. Those words that do not produce any Google search results at all are known as Antegooglewhackblatts before they are listed - and subsequently elevated to Googlewhackblatt status if it is not blocked by robots.txt.

Another way a Googlewhackblatt's status can be ruined is when an entirely unrelated website including the word is created. An example of this is the nonsense word "Bumruff" which originally returned a single result (the surname of a woman living in Ireland in 1911), but once a Halo 3 player chose it as his/her player name, the word's status as a Googlewhackblatt was destroyed.

Feedback stories are also available on the New Scientist website, thus resulting in the destruction of any existing Googlewhackblatts that are ever printed in the magazine. Antegooglewhackblatts that are posted on the Feedback website become known as Feedbackgooglewhackblatts as their Googlewhackblatt status is created.

In addition, New Scientist has more recently discovered another way to obtain a Googlewhackblatt without falling into the Googlewhackblatt Paradox. One can write the Googlewhackblatt on a website, but backwards, and then search on elgooG to view the list properly while still keeping the Googlewhackblatt's status as a Googlewhackblatt.

In contrast to Googlewhacks, many Googlewhackblatts and Antegooglewhackblatts are nonsense words that cannot presently and probably will never be found in a dictionary.

The term Googlewhackblack was coined to describe words that are Googlewhackblatts due to being misspelled, an example being Alapacoid and Alopecoid.

See also

References

External links

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