In my job I am constantly stumped by things that I can’t do for some reason or another using my PC. I am also constantly surprised by how often this can be overcome by putting the question to Google.
We do (and should) teach a range of search techniques to our students and let them know that Google is not the be-all-and-end-all; however, knowing how to use Google effectively is certainly a useful life-skill.
The reason the technique of asking Google the question in plain speech works is because people have either asked it before (on sites like Yahoo Answers) or the smart people at the internet have worded their help pages with the question in them so that they can be easily found. The example that follows isn’t related to either of these things, it merely showed up because my question had the keywords in it.
The question that I wanted an answer to was: how do I get rid of the blank page that follows the table that I have created in Word? It is a really annoying problem that happens all the time and I finally cracked it and did something about it. So I Googled something of the sort (how do you stop a second page coming up after a table in word?) and the first result took me to a TechRepublic help page on just that topic. If a suitable answer hadn’t come up, I would have preformed the same search in inverted commas so that it searched for that exact phrase, then, failing that, I would have used keywords. If you want to know how to fix this annoying Word thing, click the ‘just that topic’ link for the solution. Or Google it yourself.
Along with turning it off and turning it on again, Googling something has become a catch-all solution for IT geeks the world over. So much so, in fact, that if you really want to put someone in their place (in a sarky, IT geek kind of way) you can send them an answer to their question from LMGTFY (Let Me Google That For You).
p.s. As an interesting(!) afterword, neither ‘Googled’ nor ‘Googling’ came up as spelling mistakes when I checked this post!