Looking for something?

It’s not on the way to anywhere, so there’s very little in the way of passing traffic, and not much happens.

So this blog is indeed just like Tranquility Base, the deeply rural French hamlet where we live.

Nonetheless, occasionally an unsuspecting browser does seem to stumble across it, metaphorically pop their head round the door, recoil and quickly move on, no doubt cursing the search engine of their choice for leading them astray. 

Aaaaaanyway. Today’s instalment of ‘365 Days of Writing Prompts’ raises the subject of online searches, wanting to know “What was the last thing you searched for online? Why were you looking for it?” Nosy buggers.

Free spirit that I am, I thought instead I’d emulate something I’ve seen on a few other blogs I follow, which is to write a post about some of the often bizarre search terms that led visitors to their sites.

  • By far the most common search term that’s got wayfarers to this lonely outpost, I was surprised to discover, is ‘Real ISTJ‘. This relates to a post I wrote back in March, in which I was pleased to point out that apparently I have the same personality characteristics as Darth Vader.
  • After that, the next most frequent term is ‘Chicken Run‘. This has nothing to do with the film of the same name but, as I posted almost two years ago, a rather bizarre local custom.
  • There were a couple of hits from the term ‘phenomenology made simple’, which from my own undergraduate experience is one of the clearest examples of hope triumphing over experience that you’re ever likely to meet. Obviously, that must have led to this post about the ragged remains of my student knowledge.
  • Somebody else wanted to know ‘did Palmerston say masterly inactivity?’ Can’t help you there, I’m afraid.

However, there were two search terms in particular that caught my attention:

‘Keyhole brain surgery’ is quite arresting, you have to admit. However, I suspect there may have been some disappointment when the curious passer-by was directed to a rant about duvet covers.

At least I could explain that one. The one that really stumped me though, was ‘schadenfreude in a sentence’. At first I thought this must mean somebody was looking for a very short definition of the word, but then I realised that perhaps some poor schoolkid was up against the clock somewhere and needed to find an example of the use of the word ‘schadenfreude’ in a sentence. Either way, I couldn’t make the connection to anything I remember having written myself.

Even when I put in the identical search term, it didn’t help. I trawled through the first 20 pages of almost 350,000 hits before I gave up.

Finally, I hit on the rather obvious – to most people, anyway – idea of searching my previous posts. It was then I discovered that I had used the word ‘schadenfreude’ twice before. Tellingly, these were both in posts about the joys of not having to work anymore, more specifically not having to get up early and not having to attend business meetings.

Smug bastard.

All in all, I guess that anybody who’s been directed to this site by a search engine has gone away disappointed. Well, I’m sorry you wasted your time, but a view is a view and my stats need all the help they can get. And that’s schadenfreude in a sentence.

As well as my most recent internet search.

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