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I have come across a rather strange situation. I use Google Apps for Education at work. I have an account that essentially works as a ticketing system for certain types of requests. I use a coding system to name the requests so that I can find them easily later. The coding system is as follows:

[Category] [(YYYY-MM-DD)] [Title] [Coding Symbols]

An example is

H3 (2016-10-07) Formation of Govt American Rev +>

Nearly all of the time, this works perfectly. However, I have come across one specific example in which it does not work:

Gv (2016-09-20) Q1 Before the Constitution

I have no idea why this one case does not work, but I have narrowed the problem to the date. When I search for Gv Q1 Before the Constitution, The result comes up without a problem. However, any combination of search terms that includes (2016-09-20) generates results that do not include the relevant email strand. The same is true when I search for 2016-09-20, "2016-09-20", or "(2016-09-20)". Just to be sure I hadn't accidentally use some other random character that looked just like one of the intended ones, I replied to that same email strand with a wide variety of variations of the dysfunctional search term, including "(2016-09-20)", "2016-09-20", 2016-09-20, and 2016 09 20. Considering the last two, you'd think that searching for "2016-09-20" would include the desired conversation in the results, but no such luck.

Now, it can't be something specific to the date itself, since I can find the email strands for the requests named AU (2016-09-20) U1 Native Americans +> and UAM (2016-09-20) Election Theory > without a problem. I also don't believe that the problem is related to Gmail attempting to use the text string as an actual date of an email message, since none of the three conversations with (2016-09-20) have a message sent on that date (so there is no reason that Gv (2016-09-20) Q1 Before the Constitution should have different results).

Does anyone have an explanation for this? More specifically, can anyone provide me with a way to force Gmail search to return all email strands that contain the exact text string (2016-09-20)?

migrated from superuser.com Oct 10 '16 at 15:10

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