A few months ago, I blogged about how watching law-themed movies or TV series with lawyers can be just a wee bit annoying for lay people in the same room with the JDs. I just experienced my first moment of librarian high dudgeon while watching "The Ghost Writer" with my husband yesterday. During one scene, Ewan McGregor's character uses Google to try to find out key information about other characters. When McGregor's character entered his Google searches, he inserted a "+" sign between search terms. Immediately, I began hitting my husband's leg. He looked over at me wearily, nodded that he understood why I was so worked up, and gave me a warning look that said, "Just settle down and enjoy the movie."
The source of my indignation? The default connector in a basic Google search is "AND." If you enter terms without a connector between them, Google automatically inserts an "AND" between your search terms. In fact, entering a "+" sign before a search term is the signal that you use to tell Google to search for that term alone and to ignore any synonyms for that word. There was no need to enter a "+" sign for the searches in "The Ghost Writer," which shows me that Hollywood types spend very little time actually conducting Google searches. Other than this little quibble, great movie!