Tuesday, July 17, 2007

"Both daffy and dead"

(More will be posted in this space about Edward de Vere and Cervantes after I get past a big, ugly deadline later this week.)

One nice thing about deadlines is that they always seem to inspire newfound heights of procrastination. This usually means mucking about on the web. (And these days, it involves the best mucking-about-on-the-web book ever invented, Mark Frauenfelder's Rule The Web: How To Do Anything and Everything on the Internet—Better, Faster and Easier.)

So it was that I happened upon the quick and dirty way of finding out what Google thinks of someone. It's a site called Googlism. To churn out a list of all that Google can find about a person, just type in their name. Punching in the name "Edward de Vere," for instance, generates a list with anywhere from 13 to 18 variations on "Edward de Vere is better known to the world as 'William Shakespeare.'"

It also spurts out some comical non-sequitors such as "Edward de Vere is overwhelming" and "Edward de Vere is both daffy and dead."

Of course, the top alternate claimants to the Shakespeare laurels can also be checked out for their googlism scores:

Christopher Marlowe ("is an intensive orange")
Francis Bacon ("is now on")
William Stanley, Earl of Derby ("is still living"!!)

Alack, alack, though... Boosters of Mary Sidney, Henry Neville, Edward Dyer and even old Will Shakspere will have to do better. All Googlism can turn up for these names is "Sorry, Google doesn't know enough about this person yet."

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