The Google Glossary Game: Poking Friday Fun At The Bots!
November 1, 2002 1:16 AM   Subscribe

The Google Glossary Game: Poking Friday Fun At The Bots! Credited to B from the Google Glossary Public Labs, as shown here, it uses the hilarious growing pains and machine-made imperfections of the Google Glossary and here's how it works... [Rules inside.]
posted by MiguelCardoso (23 comments total)
The objective is to find as many useless or irrelevant definitions as you can for a common word. For example: drink (3 out of 3 useless), friend (8 out 10 useless), yes (9/9) and britney spears(1/1).

The winning strategy is, naturally, to try for the highest possible score, subtracting the number of acceptable definitions from the number of useless ones. If all definitions are useless you add 1 point for every two duds. Examples are: Friend is an 8 (10 - 2) and Yes is a 13 (9 + 4). Very funny or notably disparate definitions, at the searcher's discretion, are worth an extra point.

The game, which originated among the under-employed in one of the big Lisbon web portals, is obviously in its infancy, so please feel free to make up the rules as you go along.

P.S. The established authority for definitions and disputes is the multi-dictionary search machine known as OneLook.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 1:18 AM on November 1, 2002

I don't know my score, but "coffee" gives great returns; the first entry is "beer", the fourth is "god", and the fifth is "a person who is coughed upon". I think that last one alone should give me something in the neighborhood of 100 points...
posted by taz at 2:49 AM on November 1, 2002

Taz: Not to mention Methods including shade, composting, mulching and terracing, though my mother, bless her, makes coffee exactly like that. Take fifty points from the petty cash. I'm still trying; thanks ever so much for making this silly game even more difficult... ;)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 2:55 AM on November 1, 2002

I always thought Britney Spears was rhyming slang for ears, as in 'I've just had my britneys syringed'.
posted by gravelshoes at 3:06 AM on November 1, 2002

OK, my entry is pancake: 6/6; one repeat; best definition: To land, refuel and rearm.

It's actually quite difficult to get nonsensical results and I haven't yet cottoned on to what type of queries befuddle the machine. So I'll wait for techies to wake up.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 3:10 AM on November 1, 2002

Oh, this one's good and pithy.

Bowels = Pity.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 3:12 AM on November 1, 2002

What about Monkey? Only 6/8, but: "A furry object that licks its own arse and eats its mates' fleas. God we love you monkey. " Priceless!
posted by muckybob at 3:15 AM on November 1, 2002

Ha ha, muckybob! It also attempts a description of my friend (and Metafilter's own) dong_resin: A worthless mixture of resin and oil completely polymerized in the kettle and solidified, so that it is insoluble in molten resin, oil or thinner.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 3:34 AM on November 1, 2002

Matt: "But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand: Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man contexts it is used of speaking of witnesses and judgments, while in religious contexts it is used in reference to the law and commandments of God."
posted by taz at 3:38 AM on November 1, 2002

Also, from the Matt definitions, a gentle word in anildash's ear, for it is he who holds the hard drive that is slowing Metafilter down of late: Straw disk behind the target face.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 3:43 AM on November 1, 2002

OK, so this one's not irrlevant, but:
Ass: Peculiar and unpleasant aroma that is difficult to define specifically, and the source of which is hard to determine or render precise. For instance, "This place smells like ass."

posted by Fabulon7 at 6:36 AM on November 1, 2002

I scored a 13 on my first try and learned this important historical factoid:

• Towards the end of the 17th century the vast wigs then worn by some men made it impractical for them to wear the fashionable broad-brimmed hat unless necessary. Custom dictated, however, that hats should then be carried beneath the arm. Rapidly, the hat began to be folded to make it easier to carry. In the 18th century this habit and changing fashions led to many sorts of folded or cocked hats - cocked on one, two, or three sides. It was the hat with three sides cocked that dominated fashion and was seen in innumerable variations of adornment and proportion. While beaver felt was the preferred material others, including wool and camel's down, were available.
posted by ursus_comiter at 6:58 AM on November 1, 2002

Shit. (not a winner with only 3/3, but I got a kick out of the related phrases)
posted by thatweirdguy2 at 7:16 AM on November 1, 2002

Not useless, perhaps, but I was intrigued that the only two definitions of Mickey Mouse are military.
posted by SealWyf at 7:22 AM on November 1, 2002

As great as Google is, not even they seem to have everything. Miguel, how would I score that?

Google glossary really should search Everything2 though.
posted by ursus_comiter at 7:30 AM on November 1, 2002

These are so odd. Book for example gives me 9 "definitions" but none of them are definitions for the word book itself. They are definitions for other things which include the word book in the definition:

Session. The period of time during which a book is displayed in a Book window. When more than one book is open at the same time, there is a separate ongoing book session for each. See also BookManager READ for Windows session.

How is this helpful to anyone who types in the word book?

Ball, on the other hand, while it gives two "sideways" definitions (A polo ball is made of plastic; a defensive player's call: Ball, ball, I've got the ball) gives me a very strange phrase: baking a ball which talks about "placing heat on the ball track" to remove excess oil picked up from the lane. I assume this has something to do with bowling.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:37 AM on November 1, 2002

Miguel, thanks for the plug for OneLook (which is actually my site.) OneLook's been around for about 6 years and is based on a slightly less automatic approach to dictionary search than Google Glossary. We identify quality dictionaries by hand (and by recommendations from users) and then unleash a special-purpose spider to extract the words from each dictionary and add them to our index. Our indexing algorithm allows for a few extra bells and whistles -- wildcard search and spelling correction, for example.

Google Glossary, by contrast, appears to identify dictionary sites automatically, which leads to possibly greater coverage but at the expense of a lot of accuracy. I'm a little biased, of course, but I prefer using OneLook in most cases. Google Glossary doesn't really seem to be ready for prime time as a useful lexical tool. But Google has a history of making their products better until they're the best, and I'm convinced an automated approach like theirs is viable, so we'll see what happens.
posted by dougb at 8:27 AM on November 1, 2002

Someone who has a Jimi Hendrix and/or Bob Marley Poster, more than four tie dye tee shirts that are not currently clean, more than four varieties of essential oils, dread locks either on his/her head or in a box in the closet, at least six Phish or Grateful Dead bootleg tapes in the room where he/she spends most of his/her time, and who could not hope to pass a drug test if it were given a week from tomorrow.

One amphibian.
Three train-related definitions.
Two occurences of "Free Rocket Over Ground"
Two hoof-related definitions.
Also, a depression in the face of a brick.
posted by CrunchyFrog at 8:33 AM on November 1, 2002

Some glossary-- there's no entry for antidisestablishmentarianism.
posted by Cerebus at 8:49 AM on November 1, 2002

Six-pack gets you skiing, bowling, volleyball, the carburetor for a 1960 Cadillac Eldorado and an '80s girl group. But NO FREAKING BEER? What are they drinking?
posted by sixpack at 9:24 AM on November 1, 2002

A little image control going on?
btw, I second Miguel's endorsement of OneLook and kudos to you, dougb, for building & maintaining such a useful tool - thanks!
posted by madamjujujive at 1:24 PM on November 1, 2002

"(General) Contact between balls. (See kiss shot)"

No comment. ;-)
posted by ArsncHeart at 10:26 PM on November 1, 2002

Wow, congratulations and thanks dougb! OneLook is definitely miles ahead. Long live those handmade spiders and the thought that went in to them! :)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 2:04 AM on November 2, 2002

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