It is, basically, the method of searching that lets you combine words and phrases using the operators AND, OR, and NOT to define, broaden, or limit your search (sound familiar at all?). These are called, perhaps predictably, Boolean operators. How did it get that silly name? Great question. Derived from the last name of 19th century English mathematician George Boole, Boolean searching is based on his method of symbolic logic.

But how does one best use Boolean searching? How does it work? Let’s look at some examples. Let’s say you’re looking forward to a weekend getaway in Montauk with your darling life partner, and you want to stay somewhere luxe. You could use the “and” operator to search: Montauk AND hotel AND “too expensive” To find reviews where someone thought their hotel was too expensive.


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