I'd say the search works incorrectly, but verbatim is verbatim, which means it doesn't actually work as intended.

When looking for a phrase This post does not cite any references or sources, search shows me 10 results, omitting This, not and or. I know, because search optimization, right? But when I distrustingly looked for "This post does not cite any references or sources", I got no results. Right when there were just about ten of them. Not so verbatim after all?

click for no sore eyes

  • And to cite some references and sources⁽¹⁾,⁽²⁾. Jan 15, 2014 at 1:17

1 Answer 1


The reason for this is that you excluded a . and instead put sources, not sources.

This is expected behavior of the system, because sources and sources. are two different words. It doesn't treat the period as another word, it becomes a part of the word sources. Therefore, by not adding the ., it looks for only posts that match blah.... sources not blah.... sources..

  • Interesting behavior. . is a punctuation symbol, and therefore cannot be part of a word. Or am I wrong? Jan 15, 2014 at 1:18
  • @user1306322 I'm not quite sure, but that's the way the system treats it. Maybe it's somehow adding the period as a special character as part of the word?
    – hichris123
    Jan 15, 2014 at 1:22
  • This system works in a way different from what my previous experience with text searching tells me it should. I usually trust SE with how technology should be, but not this time. Jan 15, 2014 at 1:25
  • 3
    Fully agreed with user here -- this functionality is not what someone would expect. I would assume that searching for "This post does not cite any references or source" would also find "This post does not cite any references or sources" or "This post does not cite any references or sources."
    – jmac
    Jan 15, 2014 at 1:40
  • Or using wildcard search notation *This post does not cite any references or sources* would be the expected search pattern. Jan 15, 2014 at 1:45

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