Thursday, August 7th, 2008 - 4:19 PM

You can’t verb Live Search.

A while ago I used the quote, “you can’t grep dead trees” (meaning you can’t use a computer to search a paper book). Since I enjoy trying to use plain English rather than jargon, it occurred to me that there’s a pleasingly similar but more modern and mainstream way to express the idea:

You can’t google dead trees.

You can't google dead trees.

I googled for the phrase “can’t google dead trees” and found no exact matches. That means I’ll have created the first google-indexed occurrence of that phrase. Awesome. I win.

Since I work on Microsoft’s enterprise search solution (and Microsoft is somewhere below number 3 on the list of Google fans), I considered the more hand-that-feeds-me-friendly “you can’t search dead trees” but that doesn’t have quite the same meaning, and it doesn’t have the appeal of the replacement word starting with the same letter as the word it replaced. “You can’t Live Search dead trees” just made me laugh, and inspired another similar phrase that the branding guys might want to think about:

You can’t verb Live Search.

This post probably doesn’t reflect the views or opinions of Microsoft. Any similarity to view or opinion reflection is purely coincidental. These are not the droids you’re looking for.

Update: Less than fifteen minutes after posting this, my google search found it.

1 Comment to “You can’t verb Live Search.”

  1. Bryan Kingsford Says:

    What a great phrase. I’ll have to add it to my favorite quotes and make you famous. 🙂

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