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In this post, Jeff links to a MSO search for "elephant muscles". It returns two* questions: the post itself, and this recent question on people's hobbies.

The latter result has no occurance of either "elephant" or "muscles". So why does the search return it?

(*) well, I guess there will be three results now.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

It looks like only the first word in a phrase is being searched for. For example, this search brings up the same exact results as the one in the question:

http://meta.stackoverflow.com/search?q=%22elephant+hoiuahsdohsdofhoiushdiofgh%22

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I believe it's actually an or that's used. This has the same results: meta.stackoverflow.com/…; –  Eric Aug 11 '09 at 5:28
    
..and searching for "muscles" only yields the obvious two results. –  John Fouhy Aug 11 '09 at 5:29
    
Looks like that's what it's doing. Did this just recently break, or has this never worked and we've just never noticed? –  Kyle Cronin Aug 11 '09 at 5:30
    
...which makes me want to find the missing elephant... –  Eric Aug 11 '09 at 5:31
    
@Kyle: AFAIK, that's always been the behavior. –  Eric Aug 11 '09 at 5:31
    
I noticed the or​​​ing earlier and it became quite annoying. –  Ian Elliott Aug 11 '09 at 5:31
    
I believe it's always been this way, though. –  Ian Elliott Aug 11 '09 at 5:32
    
@Eric: Consider finding out what the post said your reward for reaching 10k here on Meta :-) –  Kyle Cronin Aug 11 '09 at 5:35
    
@Kyle: You're an evil, evil man. Feel free to upvote me to oblivion in my quest to get there :) –  Eric Aug 11 '09 at 5:36
    
@Eric: Evil? You're already over 1/3 the way there! If you keep gaining at the same rate, you'll be at 10k in 70 days. –  Kyle Cronin Aug 11 '09 at 5:45
    
I'm accepting this answer, but as much for Eric's comment as for anything else.. –  John Fouhy Aug 11 '09 at 22:35
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there is a deleted answer that contains the word "muscles"

edit: we were only testing for deleted parents (questions) not deleted children (answers). fixed.

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Shouldn't you avoid searching deleted posts? –  Ian Elliott Aug 11 '09 at 5:15
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The real question is - do you consider this a feature or a bug? I've been looking for a way to search deleted posts as I (apparently erroneously) thought that the built-in search did not do that. –  Kyle Cronin Aug 11 '09 at 5:16
    
Oh, and while I do see the word "elephant" in the deleted post, I don't actually see "muscles". A page search brings up no matches. –  Kyle Cronin Aug 11 '09 at 5:18
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...and now I'm markedly curious as to the content of said post. –  Eric Aug 11 '09 at 5:19
    
Jeff, here's a issue: do a search on SO for "VTD". Even when not logged in, this brings up questions with deleted answers from the spammer "anon_anon". –  John Saunders Aug 15 '09 at 22:00
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