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Scoured the Internet

Switch Blayde

I just wrote a sentence: "I scoured the Internet for anything that had to do with..."

Ernest and others not from the U.S., is "scoured the Internet" an American idiom or would you know what it means?

Crumbly Writer

I would, but I haven't heard that term used for some time, so those younger than me (say born in the last 30 years) may not be familiar with it.

Generally, "scour" for anything other than pots isn't a very common terms, and even them, with modern dishwashers, it isn't as big a deal as it once was.

Sadly, the more modern equivalent is probably "I Googled it" or "I Duck-Ducked it!" :-D

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

I scoured the

every dictionary I've read lists scour as "to range over quickly and energetically" and the idiom to scour the house for something is common place down here. So, yes, it makes sense to me.

garymrssn

My grandchildren might not be familiar with it but my 30-40 year old children would recognize it. It was a common term when I was growing up in the SE USA.

Bondi Beach
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


I just wrote a sentence: "I scoured the Internet for anything that had to do with..."


Funny, to me "scoured" in this context has a bit of a quaint ring to it when used with "Internet," even though I understand the use and meaning perfectly.

People scour the house for something, they scour their room, their apartment, and it works fine as a synonym for "looked everywhere."

But the Internet? How does one "look everywhere" on the Internet? I'm musing aloud here, what else would you say? "Searched the Internet?" Sure, but kind of dull. "Looked high and low"? Maybe, but kind of a cliché.

So, yeah, "scoured." Why not?

bb

EDIT to add: Whatever it is, it's probably in the bilge. Does the Internet have a bilge? I'm sure it does.

Crumbly Writer

@Bondi Beach

Funny, to me "scoured" in this context has a bit of a quaint ring to it when used with "Internet," even though I understand the use and meaning perfectly.

"Scoured the internet" must be an Americanism, but I've never heard "scour" used as a synonym for "search" (as in a house or apartment) before. It's used with the web, but that was back when you had to try every variation to get search results (back before Google found everything), thus it was a "short, frenetic activity". Yet when I search the house (say for my keys or a bill), I'm much more methodical, going from common location to common location.

Slutsinger

For what it's worth, I love the phrase as a reader. I am a US person in my early 40's. I am very Internet-savy. The combination of old and new really works for me.

Switch Blayde

Thanks everyone.

After posting here I went to my target audience -- the teenagers on wattpad. Five or so people responded and all said they knew what it meant. So I'm safe.

Btw, when I was researching it I found a company named Scour that built a search engine. A few UCLA college guys with some funding from the former president of Disney started it around 1997 so maybe that's why it's used with the Internet (or maybe that's why they named their company Scour).

Dominions Son

@Bondi Beach

I'm musing aloud here, what else would you say?


Verb the name of your favorite search engine.

Bondi Beach

@Dominions Son

Verb the name of your favorite search engine.


Dare I whisper its evil name? Nay, I will not sully this group by naming it.*

But "scouring" is more than "searching," isn't it? That's what I took to be the question.

*Not that it matters to me, personally, at this point.

I've already sold my soul by setting a certain browser that rhymes with "dome" to the default settings which immediately transmit a record of my wanderings through Pornotopia and other unsavory locales directly to G**gle Central.

bb

samuelmichaels

@Dominions Son

Verb the name of your favorite search engine.

I Alta-Vistaed the Internet? I Yahooed the Internet? Ducked the Internet?

Doesn't sound quite right...

Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

I checked dictionary.com.
It lists two meanings for scour as a verb - one is to clean by rubbing, the other is to search thoroughly. Neither meaning is identified as an idiomatic expression.
It is the word I would choose to suggestive an extensive search on the internet.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play

I checked dictionary.com.


I didn't see that as a definition. Only to clean, rub, etc. When I saw your post I looked again. The second definition, the searching one, is after the "origin of scour." I never looked past that.

Thanks for bringing that up.

Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

Verb the name of your favorite search engine.


I wanted the verb to be much stronger than my favorite search engine. I wanted someone obsessively searching for any bit of information about something, leaving no stones unturned.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Zom

@Switch Blayde

others not from the U.S.

It has been common usage for me that way since adolescence, in my non-U.S. abode. It connotes searched exhaustively, which is what I think you are wanting.

Replies:   Grant
Grant

@Zom

It has been common usage for me that way since adolescence, in my non-U.S. abode. It connotes searched exhaustively, which is what I think you are wanting.

Yep.
I understood it to be a deep & thorough search.

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

I wanted the verb to be much stronger than my favorite search engine. I wanted someone obsessively searching for any bit of information about something, leaving no stones unturned.

Scour would apply in that instance, but only if it's a short burst of activity, rather than a prolonged effort taking considerable time (which, might be a 45-minutes if you're scouring a plot, several hours if you're searching the house, or several days if you're scouring the internet). That's my interpretation, anyway.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

Scour would apply in that instance, but only if it's a short burst of activity,


The usage of 'scour' to mean a good search doesn't mean it has to be short, just quick and energetic. The several print dictionaries I have all say the same in that context. I take it to mean quick as in fast and not slow, not over and done with quick.

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