Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bored? Try this

I recently finished (and thoroughly enjoyed) Dave Gorman’s Googlewhack Adventure. A ‘Googlewhack’ is where you enter two words into Google and the search results consist of a single web page. That is, where you might normally see several thousand, or even several million, hits for your search terms, a Googlewhack shows just one hit.

Dave Gorman’s adventure begins when he learns that he, himself, is a Googlewhack. At the time, Gorman’s website was the only one in the world to include the words ‘francophile’ and ‘namesakes’. The book tells the story of what happens when, instead of writing the novel he was supposed to be writing, Gorman is challenged to see if he can find ten Googlewhacks in a row. It’s a great read, and the ultimate lesson in procrastination!

I imagine like many readers of the book, once I’d finished it I was curious to see if I could find my own Googlewhack. The idea is to choose two unusual words that shouldn't really have anything to do with each other. My first attempt, 'hasselhoff infinity' is rubbish. 58,500 hits. Also I realise it wouldn't even qualify as the two words are supposed to be words that would appear in dictionary.com. (Hasselhoff wouldn't qualify, unless it is there as a word that means coiffured tit.*) My second attempt, 'tenterhooks felines', fairs a little better but with 24,800 hits it is still a long way off. 'Tenterhooks drummerboy' does better with only 563 hits!... 'Primaeval hotelier' 991 hits... 'Primaeval tenterhooks' 381 hits... 'paraphimosis tenterhooks' 161 hits. By this time I'm getting a little weary and I wince when I discover what paraphimosis means. So I stop.

My difficulty in being able to find even one Googlewhack makes Gorman's challenge all the more impressive. I'll let you know if I ever actually discover one!

*'coiffured tit': 266,000 hits.

17 comments:

enn said...

That has to be your funniest blog yet!! I am going to look for one myself starting with "leccy" no wait that's only in dictionaries up North....

Tom Ruffles said...

I remember this book coming out and mused that it sounded a spectacular waste of time both to write and to read. But hey, you got a blog post out of it! Surely though his success was due to the relative smallness of the internet at that time? As it expands, this exercise must get harder and harder.

lifes said...

*paraphimosis* Giggles..

enn..ha ha

I agree Tom..must be much harder to find a good Googlewhack now but its still fun.

I just tried...

wallow monster but got too many.

agnostic munchkin got 1270..my best so far.

オテモヤン said...

オナニー
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SEX
フェラチオ
ソープ
逆援助
出張ホスト
手コキ
おっぱい
フェラチオ
中出し
セックス
デリヘル
包茎
逆援
性欲

froglet said...

well I thought oxymoron pancake was a dead cert - nope! 19,600

froglet said...

dyspraxia paradiddle - 108, lowest hit rate so far

Tom Ruffles said...

I had to have a go and it is amazing (and startling on occasion) what the most unlikely-seeming conjunctions can throw up. The problem I found is that there are hits which are just apparently random strings of words, so by chance you might get the chosen two in the same one, and there are also sites devoted to obscure words, so whatever you come up with, someone else probably has it listed.

froglet said...

paradiddle exomphalos has 61

lifes said...

ambisinistrous regale

21

froglet said...

lifes - there are 115 on my Google for ambisinistrous regale ;-)

froglet said...

Arachibutyrophobia exomphalos has 5

froglet said...

Arachibutyrophobia exomphalos has 5

froglet said...

and Stereolithographic Arachibutyrophobia has 2 - we're nearly there

Tom Ruffles said...

I suppose if nothing else it sharpens up your scrabble-playing ability.

Once a conjnction of two words appears here and google picks it up the number of hits is bound to rise, so by finding a googlewhack you will be simultaneously destroying it. It all sounds so (sniff) unbearably poignant.

lifes said...

ha ha ha...that is so true Tom.

froglet...seems you win as I just got this on my google.lol

Your search - Stereolithographic Arachibutyrophobia - did not match any documents.

froglet said...

that's interesting - 2 discrepancies in the attempts we've posted. I'll go back and check. Strange.

Tom Ruffles said...

froglet, I expect pages are being removed and added all the time, so the numbers will go up and down. Here today, gone tomorrow. That's the internet for you.

 
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