Wednesday, November 16, 2016

SearchResearch Challenge (11/16/16): What does *that* mean?

We've just emerged... 

... from a long and difficult election season that was full of seemingly endless stream of articles about the candidates, their positions, where the culture is heading, and whether or not we should consider moving to Canada.  

One of the things that happens during a busy news cycle is that you'll hear (or read) terms and phrases that you might not quite understand. That's partly because people whip up new terms as a way of creating catchphrases, but also because the language of politics isn't something most of us deal with everyday, so some of these ideas are a bit rare.    

But you're a SearchResearcher!  So I'm willing to bet you looked these up as part of your normal behavior.   


Still, here are a few terms that came up over the past few months that I thought it would be useful to spot-check for understanding.  This is our Challenge for the week: 

What do each of these terms mean in the current political context?  

     1. "anchor baby" 
     2.  servergate 
     3.  braggadocious 
     4.  clickbait 
     5.  SEO 
     6.  "dog whistle"   

How many of these did you hear over the past few months?  

How many of them do you know off the top of your head?  And which did you have to look up?  (Yes, I know what a "dog whistle" is per se, but what does it mean when someone says during the election that"This ad represents the worst example of a dog whistle..")  

Did any other terms or phrases appear over the past couple of political months that you had to specifically look up?  

Be sure to tell us what you did to understand these terms and phrases.

Search on! 


  1. ******

    looked for the dictionary image you used, as an starting point…
    image [dictionary indulge inefficient]
    …since you mentioned the political season – seems DJT has more (mean, ambiguous, derogatory, descriptive) words - some would require definition… "21,688 words submitted by 502,698 people."
    used [terms that describe hillary clinton] & [terms that describe donald j trump] – kinda interesting SERPS.
    context - political dictionary - dog whistle - see Astroturfing, aardvarking, Astrotweeting, Yellow Dog Democrats, et al.…
    not to be confused with ZEO

    fwiw, had submitted these for the previous answer, but they never showed up:
    calamity portal/filter
    [one man's disaster is another man's *]

  2. Good day, Dr. Russell and everyone.

    Of these terms I know top of my head: SEO, server gate, "anchor baby" and as you mentioned "dog whistle". However, don't know what they mean in election time for the last two that I mentioned. SEO I think is always the same and the server is well known. The others, I will SearchReSearch.

    What do each of these terms mean in the current political context?

    Query 1: [political terms definition]

    Results link to many possible good sources. The next step is going to them and check with Ctr-F for the ones you are asking for.

    1."anchor baby"

    ["anchor baby"] Google suggested [anchor baby political cartoon]

    Is ‘anchor baby’ a derogatory term? A history of the debate.

    Anchor baby is a pejorative term for a child born in the U.S. to a foreign national mother who is not lawfully admitted for permanent residence.From other sites and in summary: A baby born in USA to give mother citizenship

    Why Dropping ‘Anchor Baby’ Is a Problem for PoliticiansThe term really took hold in 2011, when the American Heritage dictionary sparked a controversy by adding an update with this definition.

    2. servergate

    Hillary Clinton email controversy.

    [server gate politics]

    Hillary Clinton using a private email server while serving as secretary of state.

    3. braggadocious

    [braggadocious politics]

    Words people looked up during debate

    Braggadocio, a noun, means "the annoying or exaggerated talk of someone who is trying to sound very proud or brave." The plural form is braggadocios.

    The now President elected, Trump, "said "braggadocious" -- ensuring that no one had this rare word on their bingo card." (A form of clickbait?)

    In a statement,Merriam-Webster, explained that “braggadocious” is “a dialectical word from 19th-century America” that is so seldom used in 21st-century English that it does not have its own entry in the dictionary. (It means “arrogant,” it said.)

    4. clickbait

    [clickbait definition]

    Content, especially that of a sensational or provocative nature, whose main purpose is to attract attention and draw visitors to a particular web page.

    [clickbait politics]

    Wikipedia Clickbait

    5. SEO: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

    [seo politics]

    SEO and Political Campaigns Done Right Requires Planning

    [seo definition politics]

    The Growing Need For SEO In Political Campaigns

    6. "dog whistle"

    Using query 1:

    dog whistle " A type of political speech where a campaigner either does, or is alleged to, put code words in his / her speech to imply more than what is said on its face."

    Also mentions impeachment that was famous in Brazil this year

    1. Good day, everyone.

      I read yesterday another word used in political campaigns times this year.

      ‘Post-truth’ named word of 2016 and the “quiet language change” of the prefix “post”

      Related to previous Challenges
      3 advice to check news truth Have you tried FactCheck site?

      Do you think this photo is real? I searched by image and tried to found credible source and nothing yet. I think is fake because is so beautiful that I don't think author would like to be anonymous. Plus, the orange at the bottom of the Mount Kailash looks not real. Why orange just there. And third if real, why not big companies have talked about the photo.

      Why do you think?

    2. couldn't locate the origin, but saw numerous claims it was real… which makes me skeptical - it seems enhanced at a minimum… the lower portion looks "Swiss"
      Mt. K G+ – no really, it's really real, for real
      @ twilight
      also unsearchable… at least I think… but mystical in a manipulated way ;-)

    3. Thanks Remmij ! I am skeptical too. And now, after checking your links even more. Light seems similar and it is not in the lower portion.

      Btw, sorry for the misspelling on previous post. I meant what do you think, not why.

      Enjoy weekend!

    4. Ramón — good find/memory!
      British Pathé
      Great Smog of London documentary
      part II
      Killer Fog
      Battersea - neat landmark, Dan is probably familiar with it - good photos

      you might be interested in the Centralia, PA info posted to the 11/14 Answer - both dated 11/17

    5. Good Day, Remmij! Yes, I will watch Today the videos you shared in 11/17. And now, I need to add these ones too. Thanks for sharing (happy they are from YouTube, PBS videos not available for my region.) Centralia topic is very interesting. Glad Dr. Russell created a Challenge to know about these events.

    6. I grew up in the LA smog of the 1960s... but I'm VERY happy to have missed the London "fogs" of the 19th century. (For similar reasons I find myself not exactly looking forward to visiting Beijing.)

  3. This exercise shows the power of a simple google search.
    I collected just the summary statements that begin each search for these terms, and discovered all I needed to know plus multiple opportunities to dig deeper.
    I discovered that adding "politics" to my initial queries got me just where I think you intended us to go

    Some surprises: braggadocious is a dialectical word from 19th-century Americana. That was a time when "trump" meant something different than it's meant for the past six months!

    Also, a link to a professor whose trying to steer everyone clear of falling victim to clickbait.

    Two that I added because I had to satisfy my research fetish and I urge others to simply google them to get a quick handle: "alt.right" and "drain the swamp."

    1. I should have thought of those terms. Nicely done.

  4. Song of the Witches: “Double, double toil and trouble”Related Poem Content Details
    (from Macbeth)
    Double, double toil and trouble;
    Fire burn and caldron bubble.
    Fillet of a fenny snake,
    In the caldron boil and bake;
    Eye of newt and toe of frog,
    Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
    Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting,
    Lizard's leg and howlet's wing,
    For a charm of powerful trouble,
    Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

    Double, double toil and trouble;
    Fire burn and caldron bubble.
    Cool it with a baboon's blood,
    Then the charm is firm and good.

    finding what you aren't searching for…
    meme - drain the swamp
    know your me***
    define d w
    Pepe the Frog
    Pepe Meme

  5. Hi Got 'em all. I must be paying much more attention than I otherwise would have guessed. That said I have never used any of them in conversation.

    Another great CHallenge


  6. Replies
    1. I loved this video--it was both beautiful and inspiring. Thanks for sending it our way, Remmij.

    2. hope you looked at both of them (Look Up || Gary Turk - SPOKEN WORD & In Our Nature || Gary Turk - SPOKEN WORD)… I thought they were skillful & liked the drone shot of the Dover cliffs (In Our Nature)
      they had a post modern quaintness, he blathered…
      curious… Beijing work or personal? been 11 years since I've been - much would have changed while it remained the Middle Kingdom.
      an air Q glimpse – B'jing
      Beijing can be quite 'blue', winter is… crisp/chilly — heating/power generation/inversions with the mountains at this time of year can complicate things
      seems New Delhi could be worse
      Ramón might have some observations about D.F. or CDMX air… although the NFL seemed to adapt last night
      MX AQ

      Azteca Stadium
      green laser - maybe it was Moctezuma II?
      Roger Goodell

      distracted by chalkness…
      in France - Côte d'Albâtre
      in Deutschland - Jasmund
      2012 Dover collapse
      Dover-Folkestone Heritage Coast
      geo chalk
      lack coast here