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  1. #11
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Difficulty in searching threads.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    It's the 'Google Custom Search' box at the top of the page.
    Right. In that case, the drop-down thingy that emsr2d2 was talking about seems pointless. I am going to transfer this thread to Support Area in about ten minutes. Red5 may have some comments on this.

  2. #12
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    david11 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Difficulty in searching threads.

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    May I ask what the Search in the menu bar is for? It gives you the option to search threads or posts, by title or exact word etc. Does it simply not work?
    That is exactly what I want to say.

  3. #13
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Difficulty in searching threads.

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    May I ask what the Search in the menu bar is for? It gives you the option to search threads or posts, by title or exact word etc. Does it simply not work?
    Quote Originally Posted by david11 View Post
    That is exactly what I want to say.
    Yes, it works, but it does what it is meant for- a quick search. To get something more precise, then you should use either the advanced search where you have greater control, or use the Google site search. It isn't designed to get you to an exact post.

    Looking for in or on in a database of hundreds of millions of words about English is going to require more advanced search tools than simply typing them in and expecting it to come top.

    The site search cuts out stopwords (common short words) because searching for on in a huge database requires a lot of processing. Google saves a version of the site and updates it periodically- this allows for searches for anything, but may not be 100% up-to-date.

    Google gives me 3,080 results for the exact phrase "in or on".
    If I search for "in or on" forum, it brings up pages of threads that have those words in the title, have a look through that:

    Search - UsingEnglish.com

    And as you can see there are many, many thread with that phrase in the title, but the one you're looking for should be there somewhere.
    Last edited by Tdol; 01-Feb-2012 at 04:37.

  4. #14
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Difficulty in searching threads.

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    My inability to search quickly for threads whose title I have forgotten by trying to search for words I know are in posts in the threads is one of the few things about the forum that frustrates me at times.
    Are you using the box or Advanced Search? I normally find that I can get to a thread from a couple of years ago with some vague memory from that as you can focus on section and poster, sort by oldest first, etc.


    Another thing I use is Tagging- if there's a thread that I think I may want to come back to, I often add a tag at the bottom of the page for easy (easier) retrieval. For instance, the next time someone asks what the question is to get the answer 'The 43rd President', I go for the whichth tag I have added to previous discussions:

    whichth - UsingEnglish.com ESL Forum - Threads Tagged with whichth

    If there's a good discussion on conditional, say, I add a tag- this type will give more results, but I can generally identify the thread I am after.

    The tag box is at the bottom of the page, click on Edit and add tags- the comma is used to mark the end of a tag and you can add words or phrases.

    Tag search page http://www.usingenglish.com/forum/tags/

  5. #15
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Difficulty in searching threads.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    It's the 'Google Custom Search' box at the top of the page.
    This post deserves to become a sticky or something like this. I had no idea it existed and apparently neither did many other members.

  6. #16
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Difficulty in searching threads.

    I'll try to do a sticky on searching.

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