Saturday, May 28, 2005

Chiquita, dame una cena

I love when Google tries to be helpful, especially in another language!

I am a Latin music junkie and have more CDs than I should probably admit to (and certainly more than comfortably fit in my shelves). Many of these CDs have been tracked down through detective work by yours truly, thanks to this common scenario:

I turn on a Latin radio station.

I hear a song that I've never heard before, and love it.

I anxiously wait for the announcer to mention the song title and/or artist at the end of the song.

It never happens.

All I can say is, por suerte existe el internet, because it is through web searching that I have been able to find all these songs! So my strategy now is this:

I turn on a Latin radio station.

I hear a song that I've never heard before, and love it.

I grab whatever envelope, napkin, parking ticket, or other scrap of paper is available in the front seat and scribble down as many lines from the song as I can (preferably while the car is not moving).

I go home and type the lines into Google. (If I don't do this right away, I will later find weird scraps of paper with odd Spanish phrases on them, and not be able to figure out what they mean....... thank you, perimenopausal amnesia!)

I find the artist, go to Amazon to check out the CD, and it joins the other CDs in my overflowing connection!

Today, though, was one of those days when Google was a little overly solicitous with its help. My search was for a catchy, definitely dated tune with the phrase chiquita, dame una señal.... a very fun song for my next fiesta. If you grew up with Latin music, you might immediately recognize this a song by Roberto Jordan (and later Cox) called Hazme una señal (I believe it's a cover of an English one -- "Just gimme some kind of sign"), but having led a Latin-music-deprived childhood, I needed Google to help me out on this. And help me out it did, so now that CD is winging its way to my sagging CD shelf.

But you know how Google sometimes thinks you couldn't possibly be searching for what you've typed in, and offers its helpful suggestions? This is indeed helpful when you've actually misspelled something. But it can be inadvertently humorous if you haven't, and the mistake is Google's.

Here's what Google wrote at the bottom of my search:

"Did you mean to search for 'chiquita, dame una cena?'"

Kind of changes the meaning of the song.... but maybe it could be a new hit for Roberto Jordan and/or for Cox, whose version is the catchiest. Are they still around? And are they hungry?

No comments: