I’m loading the gun now

Posted on 22/11/07 | in ideas, society

So, in today’s post I had a letter from John Lewis, offering me insurance for our dishwasher two years after we bought it for ongoing “peace of mind”. Naturally, that the dishwasher might not have been covered any more has been nagging at me like something from Edgar Allen Poe, and it was only a matter of time before I went out and MURDERED SOMEONE WITH A TEASPOON when the pressure built up to an unbearable point.

But of course, what would really give PEACE OF BLOODY MIND is for people never ever ever ever to offer me insurance – which, like religion and charity-giving, I’m perfectly capable of seeking out when I bloody well want to, thank you, peace be with you.

So out of curiosity I googled for associations with the phrase “peace of mind” and the word insurance.

“peace of mind” insurance gives 1.98 million hits
“peace of mind” -insurance (ie excluding the latter term) gives 2.21m
“peace of mind” alone gives me 2.28m

I learn two things from this:
1. Insurance companies (or their copywriters) demonstrate a breathtaking embrace of cliché. Sadly this comes as no surprise.
2. Google can’t count, so it’s advanced search delimiters can’t really be trusted.

If someone could maybe insure me against Google giving me misleading results, perhaps then I would truly have peace of mind.

3 Comments on “I’m loading the gun now”

  1. rickbot Says:

    To be fair, Google is always hopelessly optimistic. Our newly recruited researchers are always depressed to see 23,000 hits come up on their subject, and ask how to narrow down the search. They’re truly shocked to discover that – if you click forwards to see the last results – Google will often concede it can only find around 179.

  2. hatmandu Says:

    Very true – I confess I couldn’t be arsed to check whether these petered out at 179, but knowing Google they probably do!

    In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 179 already displayed. If you like, you can repeat the search with the omitted results included.

    No, ta – I’ll give those 2.7 million spam blogs a miss, thanks.

  3. barnacle Says:

    If someone could insure me against illiterate webnumpties confusing “insure” and “ensure” then I’d be a happier man. Even Temple Grandin does it, though, which seems disappointing: Rainman had such good attention to detail, after all.