Vol. 4 No. 2 (2013)
Reports & Reviews

In search of Meaning: The Written Word in the Age of Google

Anita Paz
Università degli studi di Firenze

Published 2013-07-01


  • Decostruzione; Google; Groys,
  • Boris; Manovich,
  • Lee; Motori di ricerca; Semantica; Wittgenstein

How to Cite

Paz, Anita. 2013. “In Search of Meaning: The Written Word in the Age of Google”. JLIS.It 4 (2):255-65. https://doi.org/10.4403/jlis.it-8798.


The article intends to be a short theoretical elaboration of the ideas raised by Boris Groys in Google: Words beyond Grammar from a LIS point of view. Through the use of critical tools such as Manovich's theory of the database and Wittgenstein's writings on meaning and context, the author delineates a double partial characteristic of the search conducted by Google in terms of quality (the Google algorithm is partial towards results claimed to appertain the user's interests) and in terms of quantity (the Google interface will only allow the user partial access to the search results).

The author then re-reads Groy's claim of Google turning deconstruction upside down, suggesting the mere substitution of a classical Derridean deconstruction defined by the unboundedness of meaning possibilities, with a new deconstruction caused by the impossibility of discovering the integral meaning of a word.


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