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I've been doing some editing on Super User, and I got a hunch that a good way to find questions in need of improvement would be to search for titles containing backticks. So I punched title:` into the search box, and got this.

None of the titles on the first or second pages of those results actually contains a backtick. However, the search produces only 1917 results. If it had somehow matched all questions, "5000+" would be displayed.

What did my attempt to find backticks actually search for? (I know this isn't directly a useful question, but hopefully the answer will help people be better searchers in the future.) I wouldn't mind finding out how to actually search for a backtick, either, if someone knows a way.

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You get the same result just searching for title:, so I don't think the backtick has anything to do with it – Michael Mrozek Sep 6 '11 at 17:38
Yeah, I think all sorts of non-alphanumeric characters are automatically discarded either upfront, or by Lucene. I suspect that this could be related to the entry count for a given Lucene index segment, but that's just a guess (especially since the number varies depending on the tab you select). On sites with lower total question counts, like Gaming, you actually will get all questions returned. – Tim Stone Sep 6 '11 at 18:17

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