Recently I was frustrated by Twitter’s search function, and the fact that it’s too smart for its own good. But luckily, I was able to find the trick to make it less #inteligent. I will share that trick with you.
It all started one day when someone composed a scathing reply to one of my tweets, and added the hashtag #inteligent on to the end of it. I wasn’t sure how to take this. I mean, I was pretty sure the person was being sarcastic and indirectly calling me stupid–that wasn’t the part that confused me. But did the person deliberately misspell the word “intelligent” in the hashtag as a kind of ironic reflexive commentary to indicate sarcasm? Or did the person unintentionally misspell the word “intelligent” while trying to call me out for being stupid (a matter which has a humor all of its own)?
I thought I might try searching on the hashtag #inteligent, to see if it is commonly used. “Maybe,” I thought to myself, “This is one of those internet slang-meme-things that people use when they are insulting people, and I’m just not aware of it. Maybe it’s the cool way of indicating that you are being sarcastic about calling someone intelligent.”
Twitter search, however, was not inclined to make this easy for me. It decided that I obviously was not interested in searching for the hashtag #inteligent, but rather wanted to see any tweets that contained the word “intelligent.”
Under normal conditions, it probably would have been right. I really can’t blame it for making this assumption, since I suppose most people who use the search function would have been trying to find tweets containing the word “intelligent” and would have been happy that Twitter was clever enough to correct their typo.
But these were not normal conditions, and I am not most people. I now I had a problem to solve: how do I get the app to actually search for the specific hashtag #inteligent?
I tried a few obvious things.
I tried searching for inteligent without the hash character (#) in front of it. Same result.
I tried the search with double quotes around it, both with the hash character ("#inteligent") and without ("inteligent"). Same result.
I even tried it with single-quotes. No dice.
Finally, I cracked my aging knuckles and dug into my oldschool computer science background and used boolean operators:
It worked! Hoorah.
So now you know: If you do not want Twitter’s search engine to auto-correct your typing, because you really honestly want to search for a misspelled word, then the format you have to use is:
That’s pretty intuitive, right?