'Google' becomes an official verb

by admin July 8, 2006 at 9:37 am

Popular search engine has made it into the latest Merriam-Webster dictionary

Though you may have been “googling” people for years, the verb you were using was technically slang, until recently.

In fact, many regularly used tech words are just now getting the official stamp of approval from English-language dictionaries.

On Thursday, Merriam-Webster announced its latest update, and the new science and technology words added to the venerable dictionary include agritourism, biodiesel, mouse potato, ringtone and spyware.

And google is defined as a transitive verb meaning “to use the Google search engine to obtain information about (as a person) on the World Wide Web.” While the entry retains capitalisation in explaining the word’s etymology ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äù “Google, trademark for a search engine” ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äù the verb google is lowercase.

“A noun turns into a verb very often. Google is a unique case. Because it has achieved so much prominence in the world of search, people have been using the word google as a generic verb now. Our main aim is to respond to the use of the language that we see. We consider ourselves very respectful of trademark. That (google as a lowercase verb) is really a lexicographical judgment based on the evidence that was analysed,” said Thomas Pitoniak, the associate editor and composition manager for Merriam-Webster.

Full story: ZDNet UK