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  • Alka Asthana

Of Groups & Sorts

Updated: Oct 26, 2020



All these years, I resisted what I called was the trap of “online shopping”.

But 2013 saw me progressively become an online shopper.

The first time it was out of necessity - or so I thought.

I wear wide width shoes. These aren’t as readily available in stores. In the past, only Nordstrom could come to my rescue.


Next time round, it was because of the t-shirt style that I prefer. I like scoop necks; alas, stores tend to carry more of round necks and v-necks.

The other day, I went online shopping because I like pure cotton pants; & of course I don’t like it mixed with lycra!

My online shopping sprees increased; so did the rigidity of my choices.

I had reasons to not adapt; I had discovered a way out.

With time, my search prowess increased. I happily went pounding the searches on my keyboard:


Women t-shirt cotton black …


Women t-shirt cotton black scoop neck …


Heck, men don’t wear scoop necks & I certainly don’t like redundancies. 

I am willing to sacrifice performance over elegance. So I drop “Women” from the search string


Black cotton scoop neck t-shirt …


If only I could sort the result by fitting style; wouldn’t I love to first see slim fits followed by relaxed fit.

Can't believe it; they have not given me a mechanism to optimize my query. How limiting!

It dawns on me – I am almost playing mind games-and having too much fun at that.

Wonder what would happen when keyword searches are widely replaced with natural language searches?


Black scoop neck t-shirts… exclude … include … 

rule based ... not cost based please!


Evidently, I love elegance in my attire & in my queries – no semantics here.

Amazon ... Google ... Yahoo .. are you up for it?


#artificialintelligence

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