Friday, September 07, 2007

All roads lead to...

About a week and a half ago Polyglot Conspiracy posted a list of the keywords that have led readers to her blog. It's a pretty good list. Then just earlier this week Mr. Verb reported finding a new eggcorn in his keyword list. One surfer used "lame mans terms" probably intending "layman's terms" (tho 'intending' is problematic because of the nature of snowclones).

Getting a good statistics counter makes for some fascinating graphs and a lot of easily wasted time. You have to wonder what some people are expecting to find. Several months ago I mentioned that one searcher stumbled on my site asking "what's a good dare for a gf?" I'm not sure he got any ideas from the blog but he might have been curious to try some of that freaky 'uvular frication' we like to talk about.

This is a cheap post. Still I'll not post all search terms because most of them make perfect sense. Quite interesting are the common search terms that bring in a steady flow of readers. Some of the most common search terms and phrases:

  • supercalifragilisticexbealidocious lyrics [and this is by far the most common spelling--of course that's the spelling I commented on so I might be missing all the searches for supercalifragilisticexpialidocious]

  • pronunciation of nabokov

  • pronunciation of favre

  • houshmandzadeh pronunciation

  • adewale ogunleye

  • -ology words [often asking for a list]

  • hoi vey [about 20 times more common than 'oy vey']

  • alphabetical principle

  • jeep, q-tip aspirin [and several other brand names that illustrate eponymy]

  • did alex trebek say the new world translation was the most accurate [this common query is apparently related to some Jehova's Witnesses propaganda claiming that the translation is so widely regarded to be superior that it even made it onto Jeopardy! as a question. I'm not sure if this is official JW propaganda or just a folk-argument]

Two of the most common searches since this blog got going:
  • howl /wail /pee /sweating /working /scream meaning /laugh like a banshee

  • ironic vs ironical [and often the question 'is ironical a word?'

Some typos searches I don't quite understand:
  • "colorless green ideals bade" [what does this mean?]

  • "3 i's lesson plan for high school english the topic is verb" [what are the 3 i's?]

Some searches are extremely clear--tho I'm surprised someone felt the need to ask so specific a question:
  • "what part of speech is "very" in the sentence: after the game tome was very tired."

And then there are those searches that I just don't know what the searcher could have been hoping to find.
  • i have to pee

Me too. but I already know what to do about it.


  1. Hmmm. The only "three I's" I know are "Initiation, Implementation, Institutionalization" but I can't see how that applies to high school English lessons, verbs or not.

  2. And it probably really isn't a typo. I started a list of apparent typos then changed the examples. But I forgot to change the intro to the list. I guess I should strike it out.

    I went through enough secondary ed classes to know that it's probably out there--and there's a circle that's convinced that the phrase will revolutionize education.


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