Jeff Kline recently developed a tool that emergency doctors can use to evaluate patients with pulmonary embolism, which I was writing about, except that I couldn’t remember if his name is Kline or Klein. He speaks with a southern accent, and there aren’t too many jews with southern accents, so I suspected Kline, but wanted to be sure. What’s the fastest strategy to get at this information? I could pull up one of his papers, or I could search the staff directory at his hospital, or page through a textbook on pulmonary embolism. Or I could find out the same way I find out everything else, in less than five seconds: google.
Googlevoting came to me in a burst of inspiration when I was torn between humorous and humerus; I know one is funny and one is a bone in your arm, but can never remember which is which. Spellchecker counts them both as correct, but I know the funny one is used way more often than the in your arm one, so I plugged them both into google.
humerus: 776,000 results
humorous: 20,100,000 results
Funny bone, that humerus. But what about Jeff Kline/Klein? There are untold numbers of people with both spellings, and the winning vote will go to the Jeff Kline/Klein with the most recognition, which probably isn’t the guy who’s made a career of studying blood clots. No problem.
“jeff klein” “pulmonary embolism”: 9 results
“jeff kline” “pulmonary embolism”: 79 results
Other tough problems easily solved by Googlevoting include:
here, here! / hear, hear!
naval orange / navel orange
steel myself / steal myself
whoa, horsey / woe is me
But Gvoting isn’t just for homonyms; nor is it just for homos. Google makes quick work of strange proper names, also not correctable by spellcheckers, like my favorite band this week, Bigushkin. Or is it Begushkin? Just punch in Bigushkin and you get,
Did you mean: Begushkin
Why yes, yes I did.