How many AAAAAs in Khaaaaaaaan?

As can be seen in this chart, "Google search results for "KH(Ax)N" for x=1 to 100," there's a real spike of "AAAAA"s around 40 and 50. That's a lot of reptitious typing! Also, you have to admire the bloody-minded preserverence of the folks over there at 97-100 "AAAAA"s. Also, RIP, Ricardo Montalban.

Google search results for "KH(Ax)N" for x=1 to 100 (via Negatendo)


  1. Overanalysis of this fabulous enraged screen scream = missing the point of its fabulousness.

    PS, there’s no second L in Montalban!

  2. That’s a lot of reptitious typing!

    Alternatively, that’s holding down the ‘a’ key for a whole 10 seconds, right?

    Hate to add to the over-analysis, but I’d be interested to see this data translated into length of time a user held down the ‘a’ key while typing ‘KHAN’. Keep in mind you have to reach a certain threshold of time to meet the “count as multiple keystrokes” requirement.

  3. That’s hilarious. I love the idea of someone searching for Khan with 97 a’s in the first place.

  4. Noting that the plot is on a logarithmic scale, the bigger spike is at 5 A’s. As you get closer to the bottom of the y axis and further out on x, the signal to noise ratio decreases, which causes the jagged points seen. If the plot were linear, you would just see an exponential curve for the tail with similar visual jags along the entire length.

  5. @Rev (#8): The problem there is that different computers have varying key repeat rates. So holding the “A” key down for 10 seconds on first a Macbook Pro then a Dell would yield a different number of As. And the repeat rate is user configurable, so if someone’s cranked up their repeat rate they’d get yet another different result.

  6. May I be the next to say …


  7. I made a similar graph of Google search results for “in spaaaaaaaace”.

    I think spaaaace was the most common. The number of results quickly tapers off, but there are some surprising blips in the deep spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace queries.

    It’s also funny to see Google try to spell correct something like spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace:

    “Did you mean: spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace?”

  8. Of course, all the hits for “Khan” with one ‘a’ is just all the people looking for Genghis Khan, Kubla Khan etc. And keyboards just repeat after you hold the key down for a second or two, no effort involved. See: bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb.

  9. Perhaps the modest peak around 40-50 (or failure to fall off) has to do with lines typically being about 80 characters long. If people have an aversion to their repetition of letters wrapping onto a second line, and begin Khaaaa… at some random place in the line their typing, the average length would be half a line, or 40.

  10. @Calyth: yeah, I was wondering what wierd syntax (Ax) was for character repetition, maybe its some python thing.

  11. what’s funny is that this article itself threw off their extensive research. now the results are different based on the number of varying khans on this page, and the main page.

  12. How many AAAAAs in Khaaaaaaaan?

    If I’m going to be pedantic, and boy am I ever, I would first point out that if we’re being case-sensitive, there are zero AAAAAs in Khaaaaaaaan. I would then point out that, if we are not being case-sensitive, there are 8/5 AAAAAs in Khaaaaaaaan.

  13. I am reminded of the book “Mathematics Made Difficult” by Carl Linderholm, in which he models the Peano integers by a countably infinite set of increasingly pretentious waiters at a fish-and-chips restaurant: plaice, plaaice, plaaaice, etc.

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