View Full Version : searching the board history for a phrase
05-11-2001, 05:27 AM
Is there any way to search the history of the board for a phrase? If I put my phrase in quotes, I only get back threads with the phrase actually in quotes. Otherwise, the best I can do is get a thread with both (or all) words, but not necessarily in a row.
05-11-2001, 05:48 AM
In short: if your search for "martians ate my dingo" comes up with 0 hits, that means that thoser words were never uttered in that order on these boards.
If you search for +Canadians +scare +me, you will get all threads containing all mentioned words with a +, but not necessarily in that order.
If you search for All moderators should go straight to hell, you will get a long list of hits that starts off with the most recent thread containing ANY of those words, but not necessarily all.
05-11-2001, 06:24 AM
Sorry, but perhaps I wasn't clear.
How do I do a search, for lets say:
(as a phrase)?
If I do a search for "Notting Hill", I only get back the two threads with Notting Hill in quotes.
If I do a search for Notting Hill without quotes, I get all the pages with both words, but not in order.
Am I missing something?
05-11-2001, 06:53 AM
Right, right. A little misunderstanding.
After some experimenting, I think I've found the cure. For the exact phrase, type horny+Belgian+nuns, e.g.
Does that work?
05-11-2001, 01:46 PM
Searching for +Notting+Hill returns exactly the same 58 hits as searching for Notting Hill. I don't know of any way to search for an exact phrase, and I've tried everything I can think of.
05-15-2001, 01:36 AM
So that's it? There's no way a search for an exact phrase can be done?
05-15-2001, 08:07 AM
Our search engine is not perfect, but it is doing the best it can.
Yes, you can seach for a phrase, but if you're coming up with nothing, might be because there's nothing there that exactly fits your criteria.
It's also case sensitive, so that adds another hurdle.
I also note that searches are very system intensive so it could also be that you're timing out before it can do its thing, especially during our busier times.
Just a WAG.
your humble TubaDiva
Are you sure about that Tuba? What's the format for searching for a phrase? Is it +Notting+Hill as Coldfire suggests? That doesn't seem to work; for instance, if I try seaching on +cancer+cure (just to pick a random phrase), I get a number of threads, including this one (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?threadid=70919), which contains the word cancer and the word cure, but NOT the phrase cancer cure (I suspect most of the other threads that come up are the same way; I just didn't bother looking at all of them).
Is there another way to search for a phrase?
05-15-2001, 12:17 PM
Actually, I don't think that you can. The search engine we have here is very simpleminded, and I know that it doesn't recognize quotation marks (single or double) as metacharacters. Your best bet is to try to think of some obscure words which would be in the thread, and search for those.
05-16-2001, 08:22 AM
Is there perhaps away to fool the search engine by putting some sort of characters in the URL?
Also, the case sensitive thing is news to me. That's unusual for this type of search engine. I would post that on the search page.
11-29-2001, 08:36 AM
Well, in defense of the search engine, let me just say that I was about to ask this very question when I found this thread by searching for "exact phrase." I had some 42 threads to look at, but it was only about the sixth or so down the list. :)
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