I’ve said before that I’m interested in/entertained by what brings people here. (Clearly, most people aren’t looking for self-indulgent drivel but what are they looking for?) Yesterday, for example, I was informed that someone was here because he (or she, I suppose, but I’m unable to bring myself to use ‘they’ as a third-person-singular pronoun) typed the following into a search engine:
what does the h and * mean on a curling score board
My first thought was “that might be a googlewhack.” It isn’t, of course — I was tired and didn’t think it through. It can’t be a googlewhack because it’s more than two words. (Googlewhacks are two and only two words. I’ve only ever found one — some years ago a search for ‘studebaker stoolpigeon’ (and I won’t say what I was looking for) only returned one hit. These days it’s over fifteen thousand. Things change, I guess.)
It’s also not a googlewhack because it returns more than one hit. In fact, it returns eight. One of them (#5) leads you here.
That’s interesting. Weird, but interesting.
Maybe I should make some wild assumptions and try to come up with an explanation. Just, you know, in case he comes back.
There are at least two kinds of curling scoreboard. At the club level the scoreboard is slightly arcane; it’s used because it’s easy to predict the exact number of score ’tiles’ that will be needed to play a game. (That kind of scoreboard is explained here.) I’m betting that my visitor was looking for something else, though — he was from Canada and Canadian TV is currently showing the Women’s World Championship. On TV they don’t use that style of scoreboard — they use a slightly less arcane style with many, many more tiles. It’s easier to read that way and doesn’t require any explanation. Fine.
Besides ‘lots of tiles’, the TV scoreboard has also has a couple of other features the curling club scoreboard lacks. I suspect that’s what he was trying to understand. The TV scoreboard often includes a tile to indicate who currently has last rock. (This information can be determined from the curling club scoreboard, but it’s a little easier with the extra tile.) That tile often has a picture of a hammer (because having last rock advantage is often called ‘the hammer’) but I suspect that’s the ‘h’ he’s wondering about. The ‘*’ he’s wondering about is probably the scoreboard notation to indicate who had last rock advantage in the first end. Probably.
Now I just have to figure out a clever explanation for ‘Unknown search terms.’