Google bullies a lexicon

Google>> Language ÔÇó Sweden

Published: Monday 30 November -0001

imageThe word, ogooglebar, is used regularly in the Swedish language. It means “something that cannot be found on the Web using a search engine”, and was under consideration by the Language Council of Sweden for addition to the latest edition of the country’s official dictionary. But the council decided against it because Google demanded the official definition of the word be changed to remove the generic “search engine”, calling instead for a definition that said “something that cannot be found on the Web using Google.”

The search engine giant added, if the word “trademark could be inserted to ensure that people knew that Google was a trademarked term, that would be great”. Rather than acquiesce to Google’s request, the council decided to drop “ogooglebar” from consideration. The decision “[marks] our displeasure with Google’s attempts to control the language,” the council’s director Ann Cederberg said. “We have neither the time nor the inclination to pursue the lengthy process that Google is trying to start. Nor will we compromise and change the meaning of ogooglebar,” she said.

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