It's offiicial - 'Google' is a verb
Google founders Larry Page and Serge Brin brought Google to life
in September 1998. Since then, the word 'Google' has become synonymous
with searching the web
and has now been officially classified as a verb.
By Anna Molin, Bay City News Service
July 6, 2006
Google, googled and googling are words now used so commonly that
top dictionaries are adding the transitive verb in their online
and upcoming editions.
Merriam-Webster Online posted the definition "to use the
Google search engine to obtain information about (as a person)
on the World Wide Web" on Wednesday and announced today that
google, in lowercase when used as a generic verb but uppercase
when used to name the Mountain View-based company's trademark
search engine, will show up in the 11th edition of Merriam-Webster's
Collegiate Dictionary this fall.
"It's a consequence of us finding the word used in print
so frequently that we feel it's appropriate to add it in our dictionary,"
Merriam-Webster Associate Editor Peter Sokolowski said today.
"When we find it in print, it is usually used without any
definition at all so it is becoming naturalized."
Sokolowski noted that Merriam-Webster editors, who spend about
an hour or two per day scanning newspapers, magazines and electronic
publications for new words or word usages, found that references
to the trademark search engine appeared more and more frequently
as a generic verb in general publications this year. He noted,
however, that technology words, like google, have popped up in
electronic media for quite a while.
"Typically, people are amused by it," he said, referring
to companies' reactions to their brands and products, such as
Xerox copy machines and Hoover vacuum cleaners, being included
in lexicons as verbs.
"It's an indication that the brand has penetrated the culture
and is used in conversations and print as a generic name."
A Google spokesman said in a statement, "Defining Google
as a verb and as using the Google search engine is appropriate."
The Oxford English Dictionary also added the term Google as a
verb, though it retained the capitalization, in its updated version
announced on June 15. The term also shows up on http://www.dictionary.com.
Google is only one of nearly 100 new words added in the Merriam-Webster's
Collegiate Dictionary's 11th edition. Other eye-poppers include
the nouns "mouse potato," which describes "a person
who spends a great deal of time using a computer," "soul
patch," which describes "a small growth of beard under
a man's lower lip," and "sandwich generation,"
which depicts "a generation of people who are caring for
their aging parents while supporting their own children."
Other new official words include "ringtone," "spyware"
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