Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sat Sep 18 23:59:44 UTC 2010

At 4:56 PM -0500 9/16/10, Charles C Rice wrote:
>Just ran across this word in a new context and it's not mentioned in the
>ADS-L archives. Seems to derive from the "white screen of death", which
>has a wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_screen_of_death
>The term crops up frequently in iPhone discourse because the white screen
>is a frequent result of program failure (when it doesn't simply freeze).
>"Whitescreened" in quotation marks gets 1,350 ghits. I ran across it in a
>delightful usage regarding the new Google progressive search interface.
>Certain words, you know which ones, return no results in the progressive
>search. A commenter referred to this as "whitescreened":
>Submitted by Viviane (not verified) on 9 September 2010 - 3:48pm.
>I searched LESBIAN and then BISEXUAL, and got a white screen.
This is very impressive.  I like the term (as do others on the
thread).  And the thread itself at the above link offers up many
minimal pairs for one's empirical investigation, with the aim of
figuring out Google Instant's theory of exactly which lexical items
deserve whitescreening and which ones don't.   Thanks for the


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