Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Passing Time With Predictive Text

Soooo...without getting into too much detail about how I spend my time or what the current status of my social life is, I was playing around with Google and its predictive text feature this evening. What? Too much? Damn. OK, so things are a little slow lately! At least I'm learning stuff during the slowdown! Anyway, the point is, that sometime people search for weird things.

For the uninitiated, predictive text is a feature which does just that. It predicts what it thinks that you are going to type next and types it out for you. You don't have to select what it predicts, you can just keep on typing your weird-ass query and it will go right over the wrong prediction. But it never hurts to stop and look at what is being suggested. Some are quite amusing. Others are a bit of a head scratcher. Most are just amusing head scratchers. Onward!

I figured that a lot of people would be asking a lot of questions, so I started off my little 'how-I-spent-my-Monday-night-alone' experiment with the beginnings of inqueries. First up: "How do they...." Turns out, people apparently want to know "How do they....."

    • Test for swine flu. A perfectly reasonable and logical question.

    • Make baby carrots. A question only posed by a maniac. What the hell are they talking about?! How do they make baby carrots?! Are folks afraid they're using real babies for said carrots?!

    • Make seedless watermelons. Another question posed only by maniacs. They grow them! Is the confusion here that most vegetation (if not all) grows from seeds and if you have a seedless watermelon, then where in the world do the seeds to grow them come from?! That's an awful lot of thinking there, champ.

    There's also a general curiosity about testing for STDs, herpes and also how they name hurricanes. Diverse, the Googlers are. Quite diverse.

    My next question was going to be along the lines of "How can he...?" as in "How can he eat that and not know what's in it?" or "How can he just sit there when there is work to be done?" or "How can he still be dating her?" Something along those lines. Instead, what did I get? That's right. More STDs. (Not literally! And not me! I didn't get STDs! Google didn't give me an STD! Geez!)
    • How can herpes spread?
    • How can herpes be spread?
    • How can hepatitis c be spread?
    • How can hepatitis b be spread?
    All about the herpes and hepatitis the Googlers are. The Googlers might want to start considering condoms in the future. Perhaps maybe even Googling "Where can I buy condoms?" It's the Google. It knows everything.

    But it doesn't know that I want condoms. (No! Again, I don't want to buy condoms! I'm just saying!) It thinks I want other things. Things like:
    • Stamps
    • Acai berry
    • Dry ice

    • Spanx (Spanx? What the hell is Spanx? Hmmm...it appears to be some sort of body-shaping pantyhose and other body-shaping undergarments for women. Popular, yet apparently elusive enough that locations for purchase are being Googled.)

    • Pepper spray
    • Boric acid
    • A monkey (Wth? A monkey? Hopefully that boric acid and that pepper spray are not for the monkey. You leave that monkey alone, you Googling, primate purchasing weirdo!)
    Now listen, if you just add an "a" to that search, making it "Where can I buy a" then you end up with a whole different ball of wax. Waxy items such as:
    • A hedgehog (Good Lord. Stay away from that monkey!)
    • A ouija board (seriously? Y'all haven't checked Toys R Us?)
    • Air Yeezy (What?! Speak English! Apparently Air Yeezy is a shoe. An expensive shoe by Nike. Leading to the next question, "Where do you have $700 for a pair of shoes?")
    All right. I'm tired of playing nice with Google and I have plenty of questions of my own! Next question, "What the hell...."

    OK, that was probably the best thing I could have started out with. Hil-arious. What the hell....

    • Is Twitter? (I'm fairly convinced that it's mostly the name "Twitter" itself that throws most people off. It's a simple concept, yet no one seems to get it even though everyone is using it. Go figure.)

    • Happened to me?

    All perfectly reasonable questions.
    Inquiring within The Google by asking "When did..." seems to lead one to believe all that matters is related to a woman's reproductive cycle. It's definitely very popular. Though it is just a tad disturbing that out of the top ten results, seven are about conception, pregnancy and ovulation, it's perhaps more disturbing that the other three consist of Twitter, the beginning of Islam and when Israel became a nation. And of those three, I have but one question. Twitter?

    And look, if you want to know what the Google predictive text machine predicts for "Why does...?" I'm going to let you do that one on your own. I'm trying to run a family friendly blog here. (Please stop laughing. OK, I'm not trying to do that, but I'm still not lowering myself to report on "Why does...?" I have standards. They're extremely low, but they're standards none the less.) But I'll help you out with the opposite, that being "Why doesn't...?" Ready? Why doesn't....
    • Glue stick to the inside of the bottle?
    • Corn digest?
    • Kathy Griffin drink?
    • The stomach digest itself?

    OK, I'm giving props to that last one there. I'd never thought about the stomach ever digesting itself. I'm guessing that sort of question is asked by the same folks who are asking about the glue not sticking to the inside of the bottle. I'll admit that that one about the amputees caught me off guard. I guess I don't think a lot about amputees and any issues that they may or may not have with God, or that He has with them, frankly.

    So, so, SO many pointless, yet amusing, ways to pass the time and yet, so, so, SO little time to get it all done in. It's a shame, really. Quite the shame.

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