Saturday, October 06, 2007

Ig Nobel Awards Honor The, The

TheĀ 2007 Ig Nobel Prize winners have been announced (summary). Mixed in with studies of hampsters on Viagra and "extracting vanilla flavor from cow dung" was something of particular interest to Thingology. The "literature" prize went to:
"The Definite Article: Acknowledging 'The' in Index Entries," Glenda Browne, The Indexer, vol. 22, no. 3 April 2001, pp. 119-22.
Hey, it's a problem!
Update: A good example of the problem? Try to search for the band "The The" on Google. You can't even do it with quotes.

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Blogger Matthew said...

"The The" +"Matt Johnson" +"Living God"

... does the trick :-)

10/06/2007 12:31 PM  
Blogger Lilithcat said...

or "The The" + band

10/06/2007 12:35 PM  
Blogger Andrew said...

We had someone turn up at work the other day looking for a copy of The same and not the same, which was a real delight to try searching for - almost every way of using the OPAC ran into the problem that it thought "same" was a metasearch term (as in, field1 SAME field2) and thus choked on what it thought was an entirely gibberish query... four metasearch terms and two blanks.

Of course, on reflection, there was absolutely no need for anything as complex as that kind of search term in a simple OPAC interface. (It was useful in the backend, though). Herein lies a moral, somewhere...

10/06/2007 4:13 PM  
Blogger Michael Rodgers said...

Maybe Google fixed this since your post, but "the the" turned up the band as the first hit for me.

10/08/2007 1:55 AM  
Blogger -Tim said...

Yeah, I'm getting hits for The The on the top "premium" (I'm not familiar with the proper term) listings on google, although the other generic search listings seem to not find it right away.

10/09/2007 2:56 PM  

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