To google or not to google? It’s a legal question
Search engine giant Google, known for its mantra “don’t be evil”, has fired off a series of legal letters to media organisations, warning them against using its name as a verb.
I know they have to try, but I think that one has no chance of success. Everyone uses the verb google in this way – even normal people. Especially normal people.
It is a brand like Coke for Cola. I understand the reasons why they want to protect their trademark – or let’s better say I know that there are some things involved as soon as your trademark is used by everyday people it not being as protected any more. But at the same time, it is a huge victory for them. Search is Google.
I never said “altavista this, msn search that, aol this”. But everybody says google.
Oh in case you think I miswrote the subject – it is German. :) The term “to google” has made it’s entry into the German Duden (the authority about spelling in Germany) last year, but in a slightly different form due to the way you pronounce it (googeln reflexts the way we write how english people pronounce “le” – which, if you think about it, makes much more sense *g*).
“Geh’ googeln” is the Imperativ to tell somebody to go to google first before they ask their questions. ;)
A picture proof can be found here. Interesting side note: As usual, the Duden calls Google an Internet Search Engine. This reflects the way how normal people get irritated if you insist that it is not the Net you find something on but the Web.
Today though, calling Google an Internet Search Engine makes much more sense than in the old days, beause today they do search so much more than just the Web. ;)
Update: Thomas Wanhoff reports (in German) that Google pressures the German Duden for changing the meaning from ‘using a search engine’ to something more related to ‘using Google’.
Yes I know they have to do it, but still.