Move over Dave Gorman

Posted on 26/07/04 | in ideas, play

I regret to say that I can’t quite recall what started this. (That’s a lie: it was listening to Marty Feldman’s ‘whack’ song again, and then giving it an exciting canardine twist.)

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: the Google Quack Count. Thus, in terms of numbers of results:

quack = 424,000
quack quack = 220,000
quack quack quack = 225,000 (er, eh?)
quack quack quack quack = 217,000
quack quack quack quack quack = 217,000
quack quack quack quack quack quack = 217,000
quack quack quack quack quack quack quack = 221,000 (huh?)
quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack = 221,000
quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack = 220,000
quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack = 217,000

Alas, Google is limited to 10 elements in the search, so that’s all you can have. So we can’t, er, work out how many quacks it takes to googlewhack. Ahem.

(I think the weird periodicity here may be something to do with the ‘Google dance’ – different Google servers give slightly different results when you access them; and I suppose it suggests anything more than two repetitions is treated as exactly two.)

It’s very gratifying to see the top line in the results of the last one in the list above:

“News results for quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack¬†–¬†View today’s top stories”

Click on the link, and it then says:

“Did you mean: quack duck quack duck quack duck quack duck quack quack”

Glorious.

OK, we need to get serious about this. If we want to see the Law of Quack Quotients in play, we’ll have to use quote marks. Thus:

“quack” = 424,000
“quack quack” = 33,000
“quack quack quack” = 7.970
“quack quack quack quack” = 2,170
“quack quack quack quack quack” = 679
“quack quack quack quack quack quack = 1030 (bit of a popular classic, this one, clearly)
“quack quack quack quack quack quack quack” = 607
“quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack” = 357 (5th hit is ‘I like ducks’*)
“quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack” = 298
“quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack” = 246

There does rather seem to be an almost inexhaustible supply of quacks. The top hit in the last in the list, in fact, boasts 504 quacks – it’s at http://www.catharsis.org/index.php?mode=show&section=quack

I’m sure you’ll find it helpful to see the Quack Quotient illustrated graphically:

The second hit from the 10-quack search – known hereafter as q(10) – is here, showing that the webquack is clearly in common currency.

I say ‘hereafter’ – but of course, I must lie down now.

(PS. If you extend ‘quack’ to ‘quaack’ and so on, you do eventually get to just 1 hit: from ‘quaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack’, in faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaact. Rather alarmingly, the title of this hit is ‘And you wonder why me and Helen are mad’.)

9 Comments on “Move over Dave Gorman”

  1. brightybot Says:

    ‘And you wonder why me and Helen are mad’

    Any implication that I am in any way associated with this imbecility is herewith stamped upon and crushed to little tiny pieces. Darling, I think it’s a good thing you’re going to be spending less time on your own in Wiltshire shortly.

  2. hatmandu Says:

    That’s true – there’s more ducks in Oxford.

  3. the_sybil Says:

    ::wonders to self whether extending invitation to and to visit this autumn was a good idea::

    however, the “and you wonder why me and Helen are mad” website obviously can have nothing to do with our beloved Hat and Brighty.

    Their tagline would obviously be the more grammatically correct “and you wonder why Helen and I are mad”.

  4. drcosmos Says:

    Listen, duckie, I can ‘ardly believe that you actually did this; you must be suffering from some kind of malady. Henceforth I’d, er, advise something more down to earth like collecting antique gardening implements – try an old rake for starters.

  5. hatmandu Says:

    Thank you, Doctor. I hope you’ll waive the bill.

  6. lisekit Says:

    you must be suffering from some kind of malady

    Hee, hee – a mallard-y! Hee hee.

    [giggles softly to self for next five years]

  7. vigornian Says:

    Ha ha! “bill”! *wipes tear from eye*

    The best thing, by the way, is “the Quaxis”. Gold star!

  8. anonymous Says:

    That graph would look better if it showed the log of the quack.

    htfb

  9. hatmandu Says:

    You’re quite right, sir. Your training does you credit!