It looks like a certain search giant's scored another victory in terms of its influence on society. Or it's at least half a win, as the American Dialect Society has declared "google" the word of the decade.
Yes, that's "google" with a lowercase "g." The ADS intentionally chose a generic form of the corporate name and defined it to mean "to search the Internet." So - according to the ADS - a searcher might use Bing or Yahoo to google things the same way many cold sufferers use store-brand kleenex.
Still, some recognition and publicity is probably better than none. And on that note, it's likely that Twitter fans are pleased with the ADS's choices, since the ADS judged the term "tweet" to be 2009's word of the year.
Grant Barrett, chair of the ADS's New Words Committee, explained in a formal announcement, "Both words are, in the end, products of the Information Age, where every person has the ability to satisfy curiosity and to broadcast to a select following, both via the Internet."
Then here's a bit of info to lend an official air to the decisions: "The vote is the longest-running such vote anywhere, the only one not tied to commercial interests, and the word-of-the-year event up to which all others lead. It is fully informed by the members' expertise in the study of words, but it is far from a solemn occasion. Members in the 119-year-old organization include linguists, lexicographers, etymologists, grammarians, historians, researchers, writers, authors, editors, professors, university students, and independent scholars."