Did I sleep with Tiger Woods? And other questions of 2009
Put your hand up if you own a dictionary. How about a thesaurus, book on grammar or an encyclopaedia?
What do you do with them these days?
My dictionary sits beside the bed and aside from a handful of smug, self-satisfied glances at it, it’s mostly a useful prop for my bedside lamp.
But it really wasn’t that long ago that I used it every day. Or that an encyclopaedia set was an accepted Christmas present.
Do you remember the TV ads for the leather-bound collections of Encyclopaedia Britannica? They’d try to justify the inflated price of the tomes by flashing ‘COLLECTORS ITEM” in gold embossed, serif typeface across the screen.
Maybe they were. Certainly buying the whole set was not only a fiscal achievement; the sheer size and weight meant everyone assumed you had an ample book shelf and a great set of biceps in order to actually read them.
But in the age of Google the static encyclopedia is alien. Because as we all know the facts that count on any given topic can change. Just ask Wikipedia.
Fifty million people visit Ask.com every month and a new report shows people in 2009 have been most preoccupied with questions concerning their finances and personal health.
If you can spare a few minutes it’s definitely worth a read of the full article but just to give you the idea, here’s some of the most asked questions of 2009:
- How do I get pregnant?
- How do I get a six-pack fast?
- What is Miley Cyrus’s phone number?
- What is the meaning of life?
- What time is it?
- How long does marijuana stay in your system?
- How much should I be able to bench press?
- What is a short sale in real estate?
Alarmed? Laughing your head off? Me too. But I also think Ask.com’s list is also a bit like holding a mirror to our collective mind - showing us the kinds of things we’re really thinking about.
Or perhaps more accurately, what we’re not prepared to ask anyone else about.
So how about some alternatives for the questions of the year, starting with these:
- Did I sleep with Tiger Woods?
- Did you sleep with Tiger Woods?
- Where is Kevin Rudd this week?
- What is the Liberal Party’s position on climate change?
- Did Jarryd Hayne’s foot go into touch?
- Which league players were not involved in sex scandals this year?
- Is it tweeted or twitted?
- How many sips of beer now counts as binge drinking?
- Has Australia won a cricket Test?
- Why was strapping a teenage girl to a lie detector and asking her about her sex life considered breakfast radio entertainment?
- Was the black face Hey Hey skit racist?
- Was the black face Hey Hey skit funny?
- If I laugh at the Chk-chk Boom girl, am I a racist?
Over to you…
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