Sunday, September 13, 2009

Googling

The kids asked over Shabbos if Google is going to lose their trademark on the word Google if people continue using it casually in the vernacular as they have started doing.  It really can happen:  it happened to Xerox and Aspirin, which can now, I believe, be used as nouns, without capital letters. 
 
Which is why the Rollerblade and Kleenex people put ads every year in writers' magazines, begging writers to not say "We went rollerblading!" but rather, "we went inline skating using our Rollerblade (TM) inline skates!"
 
Kleenex should not be referred to as such, but rather, "Kleenex (TM) brand facial tissue!"
 
A trademark is NEVER a noun or a verb.
 
Those ads always strike me as just a little bit sad.  Like they're begging us.  Like writers have so much power. 
 
"Pleeeeeease?  We, the powerful 3M corporation, are begging you - a creator of literary fiction lucky to make a few nickels from her writing - not to call them 'Post-its' but rather refer to them correctly as 'Post-It brand Notes' in order that we may continue raking in the big bucks."
 
I sure hope Google becomes just a word.  Then you could google using other search engines. 
What?  There are other search engines???
Well, okay.  Maybe in the future there will be again.
 
RIP Yahoo, Altavista, Lycos, and other search engines past.  I never noticed you die because I was too busy entrusting my searches, my email, my photos, my office documents, my life, to Google.

1 comment:

  1. True story, courtesy of a friend who works at Microsoft:

    They're sitting around a table at a staff meeting, and a question comes up. Nobody knows the answer.

    My friend offers: "I'll just go google it!"

    His supervisor: "You mean you'll MSN it."



    Yeah, I don't think MSN will catch on as a verb anytime soon. Google all the way!

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