EDITORIAL: Don't Google® this editorial
Among the many recent assaults on the English language is the conversion of nouns into verbs. For example, a Republican might say "The United States has democratized Iraq, saving it from decades of senseless bloodshed," or a punk might say "I dro...
Among the many recent assaults on the English language is the conversion of nouns into verbs.
For example, a Republican might say "The United States has democratized Iraq, saving it from decades of senseless bloodshed," or a punk might say "I drove my Civic to a shop in Compton so they could pimp my ride."
Now comes news that the popular Google search engine is warning publishers not to abuse its trademarked name by converting it to a verb. So in a news story, The Telegram couldn't say a reporter googled Herb Bergson and learned he formerly was mayor of Superior. After all, Google is a brand name, not a generic term.
This is the same outfit, mind you, that has an Internet site (news.
google.com) that harvests stories from a plethora of media Web pages worldwide. So, while we can't legally say it, Google googles stories it didn't author, then hands them to readers as if it owns the intellectual property rights, which it doesn't, all for the sake of making fat-cat stockholders rich. That's almost like Northern buying a TV commercial and referring to facial tissue as "kleenex," with a small "k," of course. Or is it? We better lawyer that one.
So from now on, it appears, publishers will have to change their ways. When they want to dig up dirt on local miscreants or check trademark law, they'll have to Yahoo the appropriate terms, as the good folks at Yahoo aren't as touchy about such heinous language issues.
But maybe there's a loophole. Maybe news hounds and other Internet geeks can add that funny "Trade Mark" symbol after the term "Googled" (this time with a capital "G") -- you know, that little ™ thing. Or, if Google is a registered trademark, add a ®. Of course, that won't work on radio or TV. Might be another solution. Let's begin our search by googling the terms "publicity stunt."