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Google ‘definitions’ offer interesting insight into Internet giant


Fri, Oct 15, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    Google ‘definitions’ offer interesting insight into Internet giant

    Struggling to find the definition for a word? Simply type “define: XXXX”, where XXXX is the word you’re asking about, into Google’s search box.

    For example, if you’re following California gubernatorial politics you might be inclined to type “define: whore.” You’ll find this is the third meaning: “compromise oneself for money or other gains; ‘ She whored herself to Hollywood.’ ” Or, perhaps to the police union, but I digress.

    Over at The New Yorker in an article called “Don’t Be Evil,” Simon Rich notes Google’s ability to serve up definitions. Then he has a little fun.

    “It’s really convenient, but sometimes the definitions can be strange,” Rich writes, claiming, “here are some of the words I recently looked up:”

    • Yahoo: A stupid Web site for stupid people who only want crap.
    • Ask: A crap site for idiots.
    • Bing: Just a bunch of crap.
    • Monopoly: A term that idiots like to throw around to sound smart at parties, but really they don’t know what the hell they’re talking about.

    Well, OK, maybe Rich didn’t let facts get in the way of a good story, but that’s the point of satirical humor, isn’t it?  Here are  a few more choice Google “definitions” courtesy of Rich that made me chuckle:

    • Privacy: An overrated thing that people should maybe chill out about.
    • Victim: A nice company that gets attacked all the time for no reason.
    • Books: Something people can read online for free now.
    • Computer: A thing for using Google.

    You can check out the whole article at The New Yorker. I’d suggest Eric, Larry and Sergey have a look, too.  Then they might seriously ponder what motivated Rich to write this piece in which fiction is truer than fact.

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