25 March 2011

"Should I have..."

I noticed this yesterday:

That's the list of things Google will autocomplete for you when you ask "Should I have..."

If you need to ask the internet any of those questions, the answer is "no."

I am not sure which is least disturbing. "Should I have ... a cookie," presumably, but even then, how unsure are you about your desire for something simple like a cookie? That is not a momentous decision; the outcomes do not demand careful consideration or gathering of outside opinions.

The bigger or smaller the stakes of the "should I have ..." question are, the weirder it is to have to ask.


  1. The really mind-boggling ones like "should I have a cookie" are hilarious, but usually they're there for a real reason, not because a mass of people are really wondering. In this case, 2 seconds of research suggests the phrase is a popular search term because of this webcomic flowchart, "Should I Have A Cookie?"

    The cool thing is, you can reverse engineer this in principle. Start with a phrase made popular by a song or something, say, "We don't need no education". Type in [we don't] and omg, a bajillion people do searches on "We don't need no education". (Other unexpected suggestions: "We don't need no stinking badges", "We don't need another hero") Presto, anybody who doesn't know Pink Floyd will be mystified.

  2. Yeah I figured there was possibly something behind the cookie one, but had zero interest in actually checking. I liked my (wrong but fun) mental model of the world in which people are asking The Internet for advice on having or not having cookies too much to verify. Thanks for the clarification.