A little more on teeth

Since it generated so many comments and discussion about the origins and use of the phrases, I went googling phrases associated with Tyrannosaurs teeth.

Here’s the search terms and the number of hits (to the nearest thousand).

Tyrannosaurus teeth bananas – 792 000

Tyrannosaurus teeth steak knives – 13 000

Tyrannosaurs teeth railroad spikes – 98 000

Tyrannosaurus teeth bananas steak knives – 8000

Tyrannosaurus teeth bananas railroad spikes – 3.2 million (which must be wrong)

Tyrannosaurus teeth steak knives railroad spikes – 8000

Tyrannosaurus teeth bananas steak knives railroad spikes – 6000

Having explored a bit some of these are probably high – people can discuss Tyrannosaurus relative to other theropod teeth and call those steak-knife like especially, so that could be misleading. However, what is clear is that these are all being used with great regularity. My exploring also revealed a profound lack of qualifiers (e.g. ‘big’, ‘crown’, ‘shaped’, ‘similar to’ etc.) and they generally seemed to be flat comparisons of the “teeth like bananas” kind. This included all manner of less-than-stellar sources like AiG and Yahoo answers, but all the way through to Wikipedia, various museum and university websites and more. In short, these really seem to be pretty ubiquitous on the web.

3 Responses to “A little more on teeth”

  1. 1 dmaas 11/12/2011 at 8:59 am

    [ Tyrannosaurus teeth bananas ] delivers results for any of the words… Looking down the list (ie p.20), you find things like: “Grocery stores always manage to have a table full of bananas just the …. (10) · Scary Cool Custom Made 70-Cal T-Rex Rifle (9) · Using Teeth to …”
    So that’s a happenstance result.

    [ “tyrannosaurus teeth” +banana ]= 472 results

    Still an obvious proliferation, but less chance hits.

    • 2 David Hone 11/12/2011 at 9:33 am

      Ah I did wonder. But really couldn’t be bothered to go hunting for all the combinations of using ” ” (tyrannosaur teeth, teeth of tyrannosaurus, T. rex teeth, etc.). Still, as you say the real point is that there are a lot of these out there!.

  2. 3 Mark Witton 11/12/2011 at 4:53 pm

    Also, don’t forget that the web is full of rehashed text – seemingly replicated by bots, not people, in many cases – that may be artificially jacking the hit numbers up here. Again, not arguing that these phrases aren’t commonly used – I’m pretty sure the books I read as a boy mentioned them – but the number of people using them may not be as high as Google searches suggest.

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