Google Books' Biggest Screw-Up Danger??

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Tue Sep 11 01:27:59 UTC 2007

On 9/10/07, Grant Barrett <gbarrett at> wrote:
> On Sep 10, 2007, at 17:46, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
> > I wonder what the chances are that Google will go back and re-scan
> > every one of those misdated or undated periodicals....
> Maybe they should just give heavy users like us some kind of wiki-
> like ability to change the metadata or to leave "fix it" notes. We're
> in there all the time, anyway.

That would of course require allowing us to see beyond the snippet
view in order to figure out the correct metadata. Even if the
GoogleGuardians were to allow that kind of access, I fear the
misdating is far too systemic, more than could ever be adequately
handled by users manually entering changes wiki-style. In this respect
I share Robert Townsend's pessimistic prognosis.

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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