One of my questions was closed, because of being a duplicate. My question is how can I search for duplicates for my original question. The keywords in my mind are:


Putting the four in the Stackoverflow search box didn't return anything meaningful. Thanks!

  • 2
    Short answer: Google. Also, +1 for trying to help yourself for next time.
    – Jon Seigel
    Oct 15, 2010 at 2:15
  • 1
    @Jon: Short yes, but correct? Oct 15, 2010 at 2:44
  • 3
    Iam 100% sure that this question is a duplicate of another question. Ironically, I cannot search for that question ... (Neither does it show up under the Related Questions.) Oct 15, 2010 at 2:53
  • @Jorg: Are you thinking of How Could We Fix “The Ternary Operator Problem” Oct 15, 2010 at 2:56
  • 3
    @Andrew Grimm: Actually, I was thinking about Meta.StackOverflow.Com/q/32879 because that's the one with @Jeff Atwood's comment indicating that he not only won't fix the problem but doesn't even understand it. But I actually found no less than 9 questions which are essentially dulicates of this one, just by browsing the first couple of pages of the search tag here on meta. Oct 15, 2010 at 3:09
  • @Jorg: when did JA indicate he "doesn't even understand it"? Oct 15, 2010 at 4:21
  • check out stackse !
    – ren
    Mar 25, 2016 at 12:31

6 Answers 6


You can now search for symbols by using quotes. For example the relevant search here is: ruby "||"


SymbolHound is a search engine that allows you to do these kinds of searches: http://symbolhound.com/

It seems to return very relevant results for your example search of ||: http://symbolhound.com/?q=||

Its index right now is almost entirely Stack Overflow, although that should change in the future as its index grows to include all programming sites. If you only want to search SO there's an advanced search feature where you can limit the search by site.

Full disclosure: I am a co-founder and developer of SymbolHound.


IIRC, this bug has been reported multiple times already. Unfortunately, not only does it look like the bug will never be fixed, the developers responsible for the StackOverflow search engine refuse to acknowledge that it even exists.

So, you're basically stuck with what I do: read every single question, keep a list of questions that ask about unsearchable terms and direct people to those questions.

See also:

As you can see, the problem is neither new nor obscure.

Also related:

  • +1 for you, for the question and every one of the other questions. If someone make a new site exactly like this one, but with symbol search please let me know!
    – michelpm
    Apr 3, 2012 at 17:12

Look at the search page... basically you can look for the tag names by putting them in brackets:


As for the || I doubt you can find that... if you can't find it on google, you can't find it with this search engine.


The question it's a duplicate of is listed in the ruby tag FAQ https://stackoverflow.com/tags/ruby/faq , but I'm planning on asking a question asking "What hard-to-google concepts exist in ruby?".


Seems my comment above was incorrect: Google is no help with this, at least searching for "||" (maybe I'm doing it wrong).

The solution, albeit imperfect, is to apply the [logical-operators] or [bitwise-operators], etc. tag(s) (as appropriate) to all of these types of questions. Essentially, convert the special unsearchable character sequences into a description of what they mean in tag format. At least that way, they are searchable within Stack Overflow if you know enough to search by tags.

  • Though the asker needs to know those [logical-operators] tag first.
    – kennytm
    Nov 2, 2010 at 14:35

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