Since you asked… April 13
The world of Internet search terms is a weird place. From predicting flu trends based on people looking up their symptoms (which may be a bit more complicated than first thought), to activists raising awareness of the unpleasantness of Rick Santorum and the EDL, search terms reveal a lot about People On The Internet.
In this monthly series, I've been highlighting some of the weirder search terms that have landed people on this blog. I do this partly for the "huh?!" factor, but also in the hope that some of these genuine questions may find an answer.
In no particular order, here are my favourite Do You Speak Science? search terms from April 2013:
"fabriquer antenne fm intérieure"
My first foreign-language search! This is French for (approximately) "make interior fm antenna" - the searcher is probably looking for DIY instructions for building a radio. I have no idea what this person would have found on this blog, as I haven't written about radios yet, let alone in French.
"science in coat hangers"
Whoever searched for this probably found my post about scientific words which are porte-manteaux, but far more interesting is this neat demonstration of how different materials transmit sound in different ways. The sound made when you hit a coat-hanger fades quickly if you are listening through air, but a piece of string attached to the coat-hanger and pressed against your ear will make the noise last a lot longer.
"false perception sketches"
"puns on the word science"
Although I am a fan of fairly terrible puns and I write about science, I have never actually used a pun on the word "science" itself. I imagine there are plenty.
"puns with 'adapt'"
I think this is another hybrid, an artefact from having ever used the word "adapt", and my pun habit. For this post, I tried to make a pun about adaptation, but none of them would fit. Have you got any?
"asks a series of questions that can be answered in two ways"
This is a false positive: I use words like "series" and "questions" in my posts, so they show up in search results. It seems Internet searches are not perfect. I think the ultimate question of this blog, "do you speak science?", can be answered in far more than two ways.
"is water maker one word or two"
I don't think "watermaker" is a word at all, but it is the nickname I gave to hydrogen in this post. If in doubt, use a hy-phen.
"so glad false friends are out of my life"
You poor thing... though I'm happy that you are rid of them!
For my part, I write about false friends in the metaphorical, linguistic sense. Sorry I couldn't be more helpful.
On a related note, this month I went to the fantastic Question. Explore. Discover. (QED) conference. There I learned that falscher Freund in German not only means linguistic false friends, but also - and please indulge my use of euphemistic jargon for a moment - "unintentional defecation". It's not a million miles from what is colloquially referred to as a "shart". So it seems Santorum is a false friend in more than one sense...
"im do for an upgrade as of march 13th?"
Umm... not a clue about this one.
"how many types of yoghurt can they try to sell"
That would be a lot.
"why is hydrogen brown on the periodic table"
I think "brown" turning up is a result of my name - I hope whoever was looking for this found my post about hydrogen interesting.
That's an amusing image! Of course, logs of wood don't talk. Once again, this is a dud. "logs" is a product of this blog being on the SciLogs network, and "speaking" features quite prominently here.
"rock balancing leandro inocencio"
It seems it's been a weird month on DYSS. I wonder what May will bring... you can expect posts about lithium, meningitis, stars, and more...
Over to you:
- Can you shed any light on this month's search terms?
- Do you know any puns on the word "science"?
- What weird or unusual search terms have led readers to your site?
- Have you searched for something odd online recently? What did you find?
- Have any of your recent searches taken you somewhere unexpected? Where was it, did you discover something new?