Maybe this question is a bit silly, however I always fail to get the right result when I search Google for some particular words like $@( in bash) and other escape words. For instance, when I use bash $@ as the key words, the result contains no highlight signs like $@, which is useless for me;I have also tried bash "$@" or bash \$@, however there seems no improvement.

Can anyone give me some hints?


2 Answers 2


Search engines don't index the whole text. They toss most punctuation and index only the words that are left and where they were found using something called an inverted word index.

I think the reason you can't search for $@ is because it's just not in their index. They tossed it as punctuation. Consistent with that, notice that if you search for $@ alone, you get no matches.

  • 1
    So there's no solution then?
    – Hongxu Chen
    Commented Dec 28, 2012 at 2:57
  • You can try another search engine. The engineers on each make their own decisions of what to keep and what to toss. But I don't think you're likely to have much luck. I expect most engines will toss $@. I've seen some ostensibly "programmer-oriented" search engines that claim to index special characters but all of the ones I've seen had rankers (the part that orders the results) that were so lame, the results were pretty much useless. Commented Dec 28, 2012 at 3:09

The search engine http://symbolhound.com/ was developed specifically for this use case.

As of early 2019, you seem to be able to use common names for punctuation in Google, and get the results you (sort of) expect. Here are my (no, wait, your) results for bash dollar-at:

Screen shot of Google results


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