Google is a Verb

Apparently Google is all upset if you use it as a verb.

The Independent Online reports that Google has fired off a series of legal letters to the media, asking them not to use the name of the company as a verb. This despite the fact that the Oxford English Dictionary and Merriam-Webster’s include the search engine as a verb – e.g. “to google.”

The Independent Online reports that Google has fired off a series of legal letters to the media, asking them not to use the name of the company as a verb. This despite the fact that the Oxford English Dictionary and Merriam-Webster’s include the search engine as a verb – e.g. “to google.”

But the California-based company is becoming concerned about trademark violation. A spokesman confirmed that it had sent the letters. “We think it’s important to make the distinction between using the word Google to describe using Google to search the internet, and using the word Google to describe searching the internet. It has some serious trademark issues.”

Here’s the current definition:

Main Entry: goo·gle
Function: transitive verb
: to use the Google search engine to obtain information about (as a person) on the World Wide Web

I think we should change it to:

Main Entry: goo·gle
Function: transitive verb
: to make a HUGE PR mistake because you’ve forgotten your roots.

Example. I totally google’d myself last week when I forgot my mother’s birthday!

In the mean time I’m going to start using the phrase “Yahoo that bitch” and tell everyone I meet never to use “google” as a verb.


  1. Heh. Heh. “Yahoo that Bitch”
    How about “TailRank that Geek.”

  2. To be fair, this isn’t really Google’s fault. Trademark law states that if a word becomes common usage, the company may lose its right to hold the trademark. Kleenex and Xerox have been fighting this for years. See this Wikipedia article for more information:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genericized_trademark

    So Google must be diligent about this — by law — in order to avoid losing their trademark on the name Google.

  3. Couldn’t find an e-mail link, but..

    http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1222574,00.html#tailrank

    TailRank is in Time’s Top 50 Web sites!






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