How To Tell If You Are Famous

This is actually very tough.

Tom\’s Postulate on the Universal Nature of Fame

A person is truly famous if and only if his or her name, when entered in quotes into the Google search engine, returns more hits than does the phrase "she moaned."

Mother Theresa. for example, doesn\’t make it.

(A search for Internet fame, when it hits the stratospheric levels, yields one rather exciting result. You may recall that,

in the mid-1960s, John Lennon infuriated devout Christians by saying that the Beatles had become more popular than Jesus Christ. At the time, this was preposterous. Soon, it won\’t be. On the day I write this, "the Beatles" and "Jesus Christ" get an identical number of hits.)

The great thing about the she-moaned paradigm is that it can be used to assess the degree of fame achieved by people far less well-known — you, for example. You simply have to Google up a phrase that returns roughly as many hits as your name does.

This can be a humbling process, but the numbers do not lie. I discovered that I am four times less famous than "Hilary Clinton," which is a misspelling. It turns out I am almost exactly as famous as the phrase "popping a pimple."

I believe I have discovered the benchmark phrase for having attained a sort of minor, cheesy fame. You can consider yourself mildly famous if you have more hits than are returned for the phrase "What am I, chopped liver?"

But I can consider myself "mildly famous". w00t, eh?



2 thoughts on “How To Tell If You Are Famous”

  1. Doesn’t this presuppose that every hit for your _name_ is actually _you_? The fourth google result – out of 19,900 – for the short version of my name is actually me (seventh out of 122,000 for the non-abbreviated version), but most of the remainder are entirely different people (mostly a one-armed baseball player, AFAICT). Actually, given how common my name seems to be, I’m just pleased to have a result on the first page.

    Tim adds: True, although my name is sufficiently unusual (as far as I’m aware there are only two of us, me and a computer programmer in California) that it doesn’t apply to me.

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