Stephen Chrisomalis reports on a Google Scholar screwup that produced the following citation:
Embuggerance, E., and H. Feisty. 2008. The linguistics of laughter. English Today 1, no. 04: 47-47.
It is, of course, hilarious, but the fact that it (along with many other similar, if more prosaic, screwups) exists is not. Not only is the author listing wrong, the review is from 1985, not 2008. Google has a serious metadata problem (see Geoff Nunberg’s discussion), and it needs to work harder on fixing it. I don’t understand Chrisomalis’s “I don’t mean this as an indictment of Google Scholar,” which smacks of forelock-tugging and/or Kool-Aid drinking; of course it’s an indictment of Google Scholar, and Google needs to be slapped around, not coddled, if this sort of thing is to stop. (I got to Chrisomalis’s post via the Log; In case you’re curious, the actual author of “The linguistics of laughter” is Walter Nash.)