Sunday, January 27, 2008

What Google Really Needs...

Google is all right as a search engine, I guess, but one obvious feature is lacking: a Scrabble mode!

Those who play Scrabulous on Facebook often find the need to Google a word to confirm if it's a real word. Notice that for any word that Google finds in its dictionary, there is a link to a definition in the upper-right corner of the results page. Search for one word, and there's a separate link "[definition]". Search for multiple words, and each valid one becomes a link to its definition. This leads to the technique of searching for multiple variations in one shot, like trying different vowels and searching for, let's say, "nat net nit not nut" to see which ones are valid. (Looks like Google gets confused about "not" and doesn't think it deserves a definition.)

However, Google will happily give you definitions for abbreviations and acronyms that aren't in the Scrabble dictionary. AO is the country code for Angola. EXO and EXA are prefixes that mean things. No good for Scrabulous.

So, how about it Google? If you can give me "personalized" search results, surely you can put a checkbox somewhere to only show definition links for real Scrabble words!

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