Recently the word “google” has been added to the popular American dictionary Merriam-Webster.
Google noun (pronounced goo-gol)
“to use the well-known search engine to look for information on the web”.
Apart from the word “google” in its noun form, it is now a common transitive verb being used more and more commonly “I think I’ll go google that!” or “Just google it”.
With it’s addition into mainstream vocabulary and dictionaries, has the word ‘google’ started to loose its meaning?
Since the search engine google has become so widely used amongst the hundreds of millions of internet users the word “google” seems to have cemented itself into popular vocabulary and culture. I feel the term ‘google’ is quickly becoming recognised as a pop culture term describing the act of searching all together, regardless of medium or platform.
Google’s success might very well come at a cost though. Sure, who wouldn’t love to have their company printed into dictionaries for all to see, but this “overexposure” if you will could start damaging the search engine and use of its own product name will quickly loose its impact and meaning.
To quote Google: “We also face risks associated with our trademarks. For example, there is a risk that the word ‘Google’ could become so commonly used that it becomes synonymous with the word ‘search’. If this happens, we could lose protection for this trademark, which could result in other people using the word ‘Google’ to refer to their own products, thus diminishing our brand.”
This is not the first time google has found its name appearing in dictionaries. According to sources from The Age newspaper (Melbourne, Australia), the term google has also been recognised and printed in the highly renouned Australian Macquarie Dictionary listed as a verb similarly to its entry appearing in Merriam-Webster “to google”.
Google has dominated the internet search market for such a long time now and whenever they appear to be doing it tough, they do seem to bounce back quite often. They are a resiliant company and having their name in many dictionaries across the globe I’m sure won’t hurt them too much.
It’s Google afterall!