flowers in pink mug

Should you ask a friend why they unfollowed you on Instagram? (And other questions from Google)

Sometimes I like to look at the questions people type into Google, which lead them to my blog.

Not ALL the time, you understand. I mean, a lot of the time it’s just weird stuff about whether redheads have souls, what to do if you have the misfortune to give birth to a redheaded baby , and other nonsense from the redhead HATRZ. (My personal favourite was, ‘Why do ginger people smell of week?” I never did find out the answer to that one, actually. And now we’ll never know…) Anyway, it’s been a while since I did one of those posts, and, well, you all know how much I like to help people when I can, so here are some questions people have asked Google lately, along with my answers…

flowers in pink mug

Why can’t Scots say Karl?

So, Terry and I have just spent the last five minutes saying ‘Karl’ to each other, as a result of my reading this question in my search referrers. I really hope our house isn’t being bugged or something right now. I mean, I hope that ANYWAY, obviously, but if our house WAS being bugged, I’d like to think I’d do my best to make the resulting tapes at least somewhat entertaining to whoever had to listen to them, and now I’m honestly pretty embarrassed to know it would just be the sound of typing for hours, then a five minutes conversation that went like this:

ME: Say Karl.

TERRY: Karl?

ME: Yes, Karl. Say it.

TERRY: Karl?

ME: Karl?

TERRY: Karl?

ME: Karl?

TERRY: Why are we saying ‘Karl’ to each other?

ME: Because we CAN, Terry. Because we CAN…

And, really, that’s all I can tell you about this one: having conducted this totally scientific experiment, WE think Scots CAN say ‘Karl’. With that said, the only Karl I know is Doctor Karl Kennedy from Neighbours, and I’ve noticed that everyone else on Neighbours calls him ‘Kal’, so maybe it’s OTHER PEOPLE who can’t say Karl? I can already tell I’ll be losing sleep over this tonight…

Should you ask a friend why they unfollowed you on Instagram?

Now THIS is more like it! This is the kind of question that allows me to briefly experience what it must be like to be one of those magazine Agony Aunts (Er, do magazines still do that? I can’t actually remember the last time I bought one, so now I’m wondering if I sound like the kind of person who calls cellphones “portable phones” or something…), with eager young minds drinking up my words of wisdom and waiting for me to show them the way. And that would NEVER happen in real life, trust me.

Oh yeah: the answer is NO, by the way. NO, you should not ask your friend why they unfollowed you on Instagram. Let me caveat that: obviously it’s up to you to decide how important it is that someone unfollowed you. But personally? Nope, wouldn’t ask. Because that would be super-awkward, right? It’s not like the friend is going to just ‘fess up and say, “Oh yeah, I did it because I’ve been secretly hating you all this time,” so they’ll probably just give some kind of vague excuse that you won’t believe anyway, and then follow you again out of sheer guilt. And no one likes a guilt follow, do they?

Also, there are TONS of reasons why someone might unfollow you on Instagram, and only a few of them revolve around them hating your guts and wanting you dead. I, for instance, unfollow people who constantly post inspirational quotes over there, and I’m pretty ruthless about it, too: I don’t care if you’re my best friend, my own mother, or the baby Jesus himself – you clog up my Instagram feed with inspirational quotes, you’re gone. It’s nothing personal. It’s not like I hate you, and am never going to speak to you again, it’s just that, well, I’m on Instagram to look at photos of coffee cups and flatlays, not to be bombarded with stuff like this all day:

If only you could see the future, it's all yours now

(Yeah, I’m totally Instagramming this later. Pinning it, too.)

Seriously, though: I have quite a few “real life” friends on Instagram, and the fact is, no matter how much you like someone, or how well you get on with them, you don’t always share the same interests as them, and that’s absolutely fine. My Instagram is mostly full of photos of shoes and dresses, and I’m pretty sure I have a few (mostly male) friends who aren’t all that interested in that kind of thing, so I wouldn’t be offended if they didn’t want to follow me there. (Note: I totally would be, because who wouldn’t want to see the SHOOZ? But I would know I was being stupid, and I would give myself a stern talking-to about it.)

How can I conveniently put on high shoe?

01. Wait until a moment when it’s convenient to put on [a] high shoe.

02. Put on [a] high shoe.

03. Congratulations! You have conveniently put on [a] high shoe!

Scottish people can’t say Karl

No, YOU can’t say Karl. I thought we’d established that already?

Is it okay to sleep in hard rollers i like to set my hair with hot rollers at night and then sleep in them

Seriously? Dude, if you REALLY “like” doing that then more power to you. Like, I don’t think the hot roller police are going to come and arrest you or anything? I gotta say, though, I’m seriously impressed, because I can’t even sleep in Sleep-in Rollers, which were (obviously) designed for that very purpose, so I think hard rollers would literally (LITERALLY) be a pain in the neck, but I dunno, maybe I’m just a particularly delicate flower? Like the Princess and the Pea, or something?

are u believe that everyone should be able to wear what they want?

Yes, I are believe it. I mean I do believe it. Even hard rollers to bed, if you really, really want.

Can I wear pink in the winter?

No, I draw the line at that: there will be no pink in the winter on my watch, sorry.

Nah, I’m joking: seriously, you can wear whatever you like, as long as you’re warm, comfortable, and not breaking any indecency laws. I appreciate you asking my permission, though, because it makes me feel special.

ebay where can i get a pillow for my face

Er, I think you answered your own question there, friend. I did, indeed, get a “pillow for my face” (Or a ‘Save My Face Pillow’, to give it its proper name) on eBay, but if it’s sleep lines you’re worried about, these days I actually use a silk pillowcase, on a feather pillow instead: the soft pillow means your face isn’t smooshed into it, and the silk pillowcase allows your skin to glide right off it, rather than creasing up. I find that more comfortable than the Save My Face pillow, but like I said, Princess and the Pea over here, for real.


There were plenty more where those came from, but I think I’ll leave them for another day: or just leave them all together, probably. If anyone else has any problems for me to solve, meanwhile, I’ll be over here muttering the name ‘Karl’ to myself. While I’m doing that, feel free to chime in: SHOULD you ask someone why they unfollowed you on social media?

Related: Sleep in rollers

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  • Hahaha… love this so much. Although being an Australian I am pretty sure we say Karl with an ‘r’ but I am wondering if Scottish people say it without the ‘l’ – Kar? Now to find a Scottish friend and test this out, but until then I will ponder this.

    January 26, 2016
      • Totally agree it’s an accent thing… Aussie accents leave or add letters to words all the time. Karl will never sound the same again. Hahaha

        January 26, 2016
  • Hahaha, I was actually teasing my Scottish boyfriend about the Karl thing recently (he;s on your side, obviously). He pronounces it like “Carol.” I honestly have no idea who he’s talking about half the time 😛

    January 26, 2016
  • I’ve been sat here for a good five minutes saying Karl now.

    January 26, 2016
  • I loved reading this post! The Karl one had me laughing, it’s the answer to a question I didn’t even know I needed! As for the Instagram one I don’t think I’d bother asking, it would be far too awkward! X

    Jodie // Jodie Loue

    January 26, 2016
  • I was hoping you’d do another one of these – so hilarious! As before, it prompted me to look at my own search queries, but geez how do you do it – mine is just endless pages of variations of searches for red lipstick. And apparently, interspersed with that now, are endless searches for Daphne and Fred costumes – thank you, Halloween 2015. My favourite, though, goes to the search for ‘time doesn’t suit you’. No my friend, it does not…

    January 26, 2016
  • I see your Karl question and raise you: Why does the world think Canadians say “about” like “a-boot”? We don’t. Seriously.

    January 26, 2016
    • Kate


      Canadian here, and I second that! We don’t say a-boot. Now, however, I’m sitting here attempting to say Karl in what is probably an accent that sounds nothing like Scottish.

      January 26, 2016
    • You are right Catherine, we definitely don’t! 🙂 My colleagues have teased me about it for YEARS but my boyfriend assures me I don’t say it like that. But then again he’s British and says “butter” like “but-ta” so maybe he doesn’t really know. 😉

      January 27, 2016
  • Rotem


    Did two different people actually ask the Karl question? Is it trending or something?

    January 26, 2016
  • Hahaha I love this! the high shoe one had me laughing! How odd.

    And I can’t say Karl by the way .. it just sounds like ‘Carol’ haha!

    January 26, 2016
  • Jaynie


    Now you’ve got your entire readership going around muttering “Karl” :P. A convincing theory I’ve come across before (as a Canadian who has been accused of the dreaded a-boot, even though I’m pretty sure what I say is closer to “ah-bewt”) is that it’s at least partly that people take their own accent as the “normal” way to say something and mentally exaggerate the difference between that and other pronunciations. Like having run Karl by a convenient Scottish person, it sounds more like two syllables than it does when I say it (which is maybe where people get carol from, even though it doesn’t sound like a Scottish pronunciation of Carol?). Or with A-boot, I think it’s because new Englanders tend to say “a-baaht” so the Ontarian “a-beh-out” sounded more like a-boot *to them* (even though that comparison sounds ludicrous to the confused Canadian). And then it spirals out of control from there because stereotypes are more fun than linguistics, apparently!

    The Karl thing is weirdly specific though, especially if it *was* two different people searching! I wonder if its in reference to something? And how they found you?

    (The whole answering-search-queries has always been a favourite blog feature of mine, BTW. People ask Google such weird things!)

    January 26, 2016
  • Barbara West


    I would never ask a friend why he or she unfollowed me on Instagram, even if I HAD an Instagram account, which I don’t.

    But Facebook? I totally would, even though I don’t spend that much time on FB anyway. FB is tricksy and I know several people whose accounts have been hacked.

    January 26, 2016
  • Haha this is brilliant, especially the Karl conundrum – that’s an especially odd one! And two searches for it? You’ve got to hope it’s the same person and not some kind of new thing against Scots!
    I haven’t checked for any odd search term referrals recently, but I remember a long time ago having someone find my blog through something to do with gorillas and toilets…that was a strange one as I don’t remember ever mentioning gorillas anywhere, let alone to do with toilets!!

    January 26, 2016
  • I give your question a firm NO, for the same reasons you already stated: The best case scenario is that they guilt-follow you again, and will slowly build up resentment against you for HAVING to follow you (which now morphs itself into a worst-case scenario). If they decide to tell you that they are sick and tired of all the pictures of your dog/cat/kid/face, then your feelings will be hurt.
    Nobody can win in this scenario, so it’s best to leave it alone!

    January 26, 2016
  • Myra


    The Scots have a rhotic “r” which means it is pronounced more like Karrl . The “l is pronounced too. I wonder why the English are losing diphthongs, so instead of saying mayor the say maare, and because they don’t aspirated “h” English kids can’t differentiate between Wales and whales; witch and which; where and were etc .
    So being Scottish has advantages in learning English lol

    January 26, 2016
  • Okay, so the Karl thing had me in a fit of giggles because one of my best friends is named Karl and seeing as I’m American, I don’t think I’ve heard a Scottish person ever try to say Karl…. but the fact that you’ve described a R-dropping scenario with the pronunciation made me think of the way folks in Boston in the States talk and how they drop their Rs and replace them with AHes and things like, “Park the car in Harvard yard” comes out sounding more like “Pahk the cah in Havahd Yahd” and then started wondering if Karl is Boston might be Kahl, or if the R to AH thing happens on a random basis…. and then I started wondering where the heck they got it from in the first place… which had me wondering if the Irish do that because Boston is full of Irish descendants, and then I’m just like, “Okay, I’ve thought about this long enough. Write your comment and be done with it already.”

    January 27, 2016
  • I laughed out loud twice while reading this at work. I seriously love your stuff, Amber. You’re hilarious in the subtlest way, and I LOVE it.

    March 10, 2016