Hands up all those who, before the past week, had heard of Carillion, the company that has just gone into liquidation and, it turns out, was supplying 32,000 school meals daily, providing 11,500 hospital beds and playing a major role in constructing HS2 and Crossrail, to give just a few examples. Even well-informed people often can’t identify the private firms that are central to public services.
The typical Guardian writer, according to the late Malcolm Muggeridge, is characterised by “a certain self-righteousness of expression and bearing; the firm mouth and chin saying that news is sacred, the bright left eye that comment is free”. I was reminded of this description by the paper’s new tabloid format.
I have before me a set of flash cards, sent by helpful people at Oxford University Press. They are, the cards promise, "a fun way for your child to learn the letters and sounds that make up words". Before the child can learn to read, they instruct, he or she must learn "to say the sound that is represented by each letter or group of letters" and also "sound out the word, eg c-a-t, sh-o-p, s-t-r-ee-t". So I have a drawing of a polar bear, puffing away (do polar bears puff?)
Muck Rack makes it simple to find people, tweets, or articles that mention any name, keyword, company, hashtag etc. We've compiled this guide to help you make the most of your search.
Selecting a term
Start searching tweets, articles from media outlets, articles mentioned in tweets, journalists'
names, titles and bios with some suggested searches:
Companies or Topics (e.g. iPhone, Microsoft)
Phrases (e.g. "cloud computing") — use quotes to keep the terms together
Twitter handles (e.g. @username) — returns those who have mentioned or replied to
Names (e.g. "David Pogue")
Hashtags (e.g. #sxsw, #london2012)
Bio details (e.g. vegan, Olympics, father)
Muck Rack's Advanced Search allows for many boolean operators.
Find results that mention multiple specified terms, use AND or
+. For example, ensure each result contains both Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg by
searching Musk AND Zuckerberg or Musk + Zuckerberg.
Use the operators OR or , to broaden your search when you'd like either of
multiple terms to appear in results. (This is the default behavior of our search when no operators
are used). For example, results will contain either cake or cookie by searching cake OR cookie or cake,cookie
Use NOT or - to subtract results from your search. For
example, searching Disney will yield results about the Walt Disney Company as well as Walt Disney
World Resort. To exclude mentions of Disney World, search for Disney -World or Disney
When using one of these operators with a phrase, enclose it in quotation marks. For example, you can
find results about smartphones excluding Apple's iPhone 4S by searching smartphone -"iPhone
Exact case matching or punctuation
If you're searching for a brand name or keyword that relies on specific punctuation marks or capitalization, you can
find results that match your exact query by adding matchcase: before the keyword you're searching for, like matchcase:E*TRADE .
Use parentheses to separate multiple
boolean phrases. For example, to find journalists talking about having fun in Disney World or
Disneyland, search for ("disney world" OR disneyland) AND fun.
An asterisk can be used to search for any variation of a root word truncated by the asterisk. For example, searching for admin* will return results for administrator, administration, administer, administered, etc.
A near operator is an AND operator where you can control the distance between the words. You can vary the distance the near operation uses by adding a forward slash and number (between 0-99) such as strawberries NEAR/10 "whipped cream", which means the strawberries must exist within 10 words of "whipped cream".