Google Losing Fight For Its Name
The search advertising company has been fighting against the usage of its name as a verb ever since Merriam-Webster put ‘google’ in the dictionary. It’s a battle they are not going to win.
Google has attempted to gently request and chastise writers who use their brand name as a verb. The company fears the time when Google becomes google, a generic term meaning ‘to search’. The Washington Post has been dinged by Google for doing this, as has our Jason Lee Miller.
Google, meet the real world. They’re googling all the time out here, and it’s happening in all kinds of media.
During the afternoon airing of ESPN Radio’s Dan Patrick show yesterday, the conversation turned away from sports to one of Dan’s favorite topics: Jessica Alba and the possibility of her appearing on the show.
During his banter with producer Phil ‘The Showkiller,’ Dan said he’s heard that an Alba appearance would also entail bringing along her Fantastic Four co-star, Chris Evans.
Dan wanted to know more about Evans, so he casually asked Phil to google the actor. Phil managed to pull that off without wrecking the show, and no one thought anything of the request. If Google cared we haven’t heard about it.
The world of print has no problem googling either. In Esquire‘s May 2007 print issue, a comment from Brian Frazer, author of Hyper-Chondriac, included the G word. The comment was part of a broader health feature on weight loss:
I never linked my inability to relax with my diet. Then I visited an Ayurveda specialist (the ancient science of wellness through "balanced" living; Google it – I have only 200 words here.)
Those are just a couple of examples, observed about an hour apart in the most unscientific setting possible – the afternoon commute. Add them up over the course of a day, overhearing other people subject Google the brand to google the transitive verb in various places, and it’s pretty clear. Google is going the way of Kleenex and Xerox as a brand name.