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Googling is not a verbe!

August 29, 2006

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Worried with a possible decline in value of one of their best assets – its name – Google officials have inundated media organizations with legal letters asking them not to use the company name as a verb.

“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”, a spokesman for the company said.

It’s not likely that internet users will cease to go “googling” information about their favourite subjects in the most immediate future. Even the new edition of the Oxford English Dictionary released in June includes the name “Google” and Merrian-Webster’s Dictionary released in July consecrates the term “to google” as a verb.

Analysts are not so sure about Google’s fears. Other well known brands are indisputable leaders of their market segment, having in some cases been associated with the actual segment, which has only contributed to the strength of their brand. Terms like having a Coke, leave a Post-it, take an Aspirin or in the case of our industry listening to too many people generically refer to digital music players as MP3s or iPods, has become common daily language.

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