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Gaga for Google

Posted on the 11 March 2011 by Galegirl

This post is not a veiled attempt to ramp up my SEO by putting ”Gaga” in the title. I just happen to love alliteration a little too much for my own good.

So, why the shout-out for Google? As many of you know, I’m endeavoring to post every day remaining in 2011. I started on January 11, and so far, I’ve managed a post a day on “Operatoonity” since then.

gaga for Google
If you’ve ever tried to write a round-up or a post featuring the names of multiple opera singers, composers, or works, then you know the particular challenge opera and classical bloggers share. Correctly spelling foreign names requires using the proper accents–a whole new world for many English speakers.

I’m not fluent but I’ve had enough German in school to know that a word that requires an umlaut (a little pair of dots appearing over the ä, ö and ü) must have the dots or it is considered misspelled.

Opera is an international art form. If you are spelling the names of performers from other countries or titles of operas and songs, you will encounter many unfamiliar diacritical marks that must be used to render that name correctly. Here’s a small sampling of  some of the proper nouns I’ve encountered while writing this blog that require special accents:

  • Plácido Domingo
  • La bohème
  • Elīna Garanča
  • Leoš Janáček

And many, many more. You get the idea.

If I had to toggle back and forth to a word processing insert feature to find the proper mark required for each use and then insert each mark, I would never be able to work as quickly as I do. Because of Google’s search engine capacity, I simply type in a reasonable facsimile of the name in quesion, and voilà! Dozens of hits pop up with the correct marks already inserted. When I find two or three that use the same set of marks, I assume they are correct. Then  I merely cut and paste from the Google link and have a properly spelled name.

Now, I’m not claiming you’ll never see a misspelled word on this blog. Precisely because opera is an international community, I face more spelling challenges writing for this blog than I have writing any previous blogs.  But thanks to Google, you’ll see more precision than I ever would be able to muster myself.


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