Friday, May 22, 2020

1MM: Double Quotes and Negative Transfer

I had trouble using double quotes in my search... 

... or, more precisely, it was when I switched OUT of Google to another search application that caused the problems.  

I'd searched for a particular lyric (one I've used before) "When Venus the goddess of beauty and love."  In Google, this works perfectly--I can find the music easily.  

But then, once I'd switched back to my laptop I used Apple's Spotlight search utility to find a copy of the song lyrics that I knew I had on my hard drive somewhere. 

I tried and tried.. and failed.  Trust me, I'm 100% sure I've got a copy--the question is Why can't I find them? 

I thought that perhaps the index for the Spotlight system was broken, but no--after a few moments I figured out that it was user error.  I'd been entering the same query complete with the quote marks: 

     [ "when Venus the goddess of beauty and love" ] 

And THAT wasn't working.  

Luckily, I figured out quickly that Spotlight searches for whatever you enter, including the quote marks.  So, to make it work, I had to NOT use the double quotes!  


It means that I have to know the particular details of each search / find engine I use!  It's not an onerous burden, but you need to know, if you're going to use these tools well.  

This impressed me so much that I made a short video about it... Here you go...  

Hope you find this one useful!  

Search on!  


  1. Hello Dr. Russell, Remmij

    As always very helpful video. Thanks for doing it. I always had "problems" while searching in apps and other places other than search engines. Now I know why. For example, noticed that when searching on a Google doc, Ctr-F gives me always zero results. I need to wait so the find in document appears. Also, not in the topic, recently noticed that if you visit a site enough times in incognito mode, the site stays in "history" sometimes (not sure if it is history, cookies or why) I noticed because when I wanted to go to that site, started writing and autocomplete gave me the url that I visit. It is not that you write, it is like just an invented url:

    Remmij, Mount St. Helens link is so beautiful and interesting. Thanks for sharing it. @USGSVolcanoes has lots of tweets about 40 anniversary. Maybe you find something

  2. random observations —
    as the geo-spread evolves… has it been proven to have left a puddle in a wet Walmart market in Worcester yet?
    …wouldn't think social distancing would be an in issue in the WOS or on the Rez…
    4 Corners - France 24
    seems to dominate all the other viral news…
    the corruption of WOS
    WOS -seems familiar & ambiguous simultaneously