How do I search for a two word subject?

I want to search the SDMB for coal oil.
How do I search for a two word subject with two popular words?
A quick netscape and google give both oil and coal but not the product coal oil.

This goes for most search engines, and I think it works for ours too. Instead of just putting the words coal and oil in the search box, input “coal oil” (including parentheses).

However, having tried that, I came up with an old thread by FreakFreely, with no mention of the term “coal oil” the word “Coalition” came closest. So, our search engine is a bit dodgy. What else is new. :smiley:

Maybe +coal +oil works?
YES! However, that gives me over 500 hits. Ugh.

+“coal oil”, then? It should at least bring up THIS thread, right?
Hmmm… same FreakFreely thread again. Dammit.

OK, so my short answer to date is: you can find threads with the words “coal” and “oil” by inputting ‘+coal +oil’ in the box (without parentheses). It would be great if there were a way to narrow it down to the TERM “coal oil”, of course.

Any takers?

Coldfire,Thanks for trying anyway.
When I tried “coal oil” I got nothing. Maybe I wasn’t searching far enough back.

I’d like to point out that, just for fun, I typed “coal oil” into the search engine, and I did get this thread (plus FreakFreely’s). That confused the heck out of me for while, until I realized that Coldfire had included “coal oil” with the parentheses in his post, and the search engine had correctly picked it up.

As a further weirdness, I searched on the phrase “as an aside” and got ten hits, none of which appear to actually contain the phrase “as an aside”.

Oh! On further reflection, I think the search engine is finding all the threads containing the string "as (with the quotation mark) AND the string an AND the string aside". Just as FreakFreely’s thread was the only one to contain the string "coal AND the string oil". Which, of course, was just what I asked it to do.

justwannano, did you try to think of another associated term to search on? For example, if I search on coal oil I get 515 hits. If I search on coal oil paint I get 125 hits. If I search on coal oil paint rainbow I get 11 hits. I’m assuming that these searches are subsets of the previous search. O’ course, a phrase searching capability would be much nicer, but it seems that you might be able to narrow things down at least a little more.