There used to be a game called Googlewhack where the goal was to get only 1 result in a Google results list using only 2 real words in your search.
While our catalog isn’t as huge as the Internet (or the parts of the Internet that Google searches), I wondered if there are individual words that yield 0 results when you do a keyword search in our catalog, Catalyst.
This was way more difficult than I thought!
First I tried a few words I thought just wouldn’t end up in the catalog of a university library, but I found these results:
All our books, films, music, book chapters, and subject headings cover a LOT of ground. So I turned to new words, using the Oxford Dictionaries’ Recent Updates page. New scientific terms had plenty of hits: bioprinting (6) and optogenetics (22) were added to the Oxford Dictionary in February 2015. I turned to gaming and current slang terms for 0 results:
Can you think of words that aren’t in our catalog without resorting to the dictionary?