Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Some Questions Need Not Be Asked

A pretty clever person researched the top 3 responses to Googles' Autocomplete search function for each state and region, and then entered them on a map of the United States.

Autocomplete, if you don't know, is a function that Google has that will complete your search question with some of the most commonly-typed searches. You start typing a question, such as, "Why is ____ so...," and Autocomplete finishes it for you. A question that has been asked by more people shows up higher on the list of possible finishes for your sentence.

One interesting thing is that most of the top questions seem to be complaints or whining. Folks exploring Kansas, for example, were most likely to ask why Kansas was so hot, so windy or so boring. Others asked why Florida was so weird, bad or hot.

Another interesting feature is that most of the questions about some places imply that the old "There are no dumb questions" assurance from your teacher may not have been as solid a statement as she thought it was. The number-one question asked about Minnesota, for example, was "Why is Minnesota so cold?" That one is indeed a poser, as it is for North Dakota. It's only the second-most common question about Alaska, though.

I may be risking my credibility here, but it might be that Google searches don't always attract the smartest questions. But I'm not sure where to go to look that up.

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