Field of Science

Silly botanist; holly is a girl

Long has the Phactor thought that plant-oriented people make up a very small portion of the general population, a very small club if you will, and then along comes something so simple, so direct, quite forcefully reinforcing that idea. While thinking about a yuletide post on pagan botanical customs (a forthcoming feature), the Phactor with clearly botanical expectations and still not quite thinking clearly because of a low caffeine titer and clogged sinuses, googled "holly" with an expectation of seeing numerous images of Ilex. If google represents what the general public thinks then when you say here's an image of holly, only 1 out of every 50 people will think of the plant. The other 49 are thinking about mostly blondes, mostly scantly clad blondes, mostly enhanced and artificially colored blondes, and quite definitely, mostly A blonde that lived with a geriatric publisher as a caretaker of sorts. And this result was actually puzzling upon first glance, sort of a what the heck just happened momentary confusion before the duh! awakening, which only shows how little impact pop culture has made upon this botanical academic, although still being somewhat ashamed of actually knowing upon reflection who this particular Holly was. This generated an interesting reflection upon the symbolism of decorating you home with Holly, or Hollies, and then my thoughts returned to the geriatric publisher with more than a bit of revulsion and a recommendation about people who won't act their age invariably looking foolish. Thank goodness when you google "holly bush" the result is botanical, not blonde.


Larissa said...


Lee said...

This reminds me of a similar thing that happened to me when I typed "Erica" on the google search bar.
Unfortunately, Searching "heather" instead didn't help much. Searching "south african erica" and "cape erica" brought better results, but approximately half of the results were still unrelated to the genus Erica.