Google Vs. The English


Ask Google to “define an English person” and it’ll give you a rather unpleasant term.

By the time you read this Google will most likely have ‘fixed’ the issue, but currently the first Google search result for “define an English person” is a Wikipedia page dedicated to a certain word.

That word – and I suggest more delicate readers avert their eyes at this point – is “cunt,” ladies and gentlemen. Charming.

Google is aware of the problem, and according to one employee, it “looks like a bad case of ranking that we’re looking into.”

The “C word,” as some people insist on calling it, is widely considered the most severe curse word in the English language. Feminist scholar Germaine Greer once called it “one of the few remaining words in the English language with a genuine power to shock.” Yep, I took that from that Wikipedia page, thanks Google.

Some suspect the errant search result isn’t a glitch, but a deliberate joke pulled off by glib pranksters using a process called “Google-bombing.” By creating large numbers of hyperlinks connected to a certain phrase, unscrupulous users can bump that phrase to the top of the Google rankings. Famous examples of this include searches for “miserable failure,” which brought up a picture of U.S President George W. Bush, “weapons of mass destruction,” which brought up a parody 404 page and “Hell” which took users to Microsoft’s homepage. Google keeps on changing its search algorithms to combat the practice but hasn’t managed to stamp it out yet.

Ironically the people least likely to be offended by the page are the English themselves; as we tend to use the word particularly liberally. Often in lieu of punctuation, in fact.

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