Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 26th Mar 2013 17:07 UTC
Google The Swedish Language Council wanted to list 'ungoogleable' as a new word. Google didn't like it. "The word was to be used to describe something 'that you can't find on the web with the use of a search engine', according to the Language Council. However, Google was less than thrilled that a word based on its name had been highlighted by Sweden's 'official language cultivation body'. Google wanted the council to specify that the word's definition only covered searches performed using Google, and not searches involving other search engines." Sadly, the Council decided to scrap the word altogether. Google, get your filthy paws off our languages. It seems like large corporations love to exert pressure on language - Apple tried something similar a few years ago with the abbreviation 'app', something which I exposed for the idiocy that it was. I will use whatever words I damn well please, and so should everyone else. The Swedish Language Council shouldn't even have acknowledged Google's ridiculous request with a response.
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Generic Trademark
by jpobst on Tue 26th Mar 2013 17:18 UTC
Member since:

The issue isn't that Google wants to prevent an unflattering use of their trademark, it's that they want to prevent any form of their trademark from becoming a generic word.

In US Trademark Law (any many others), if your trademark (like aspirin, escalator, thermos, zipper, etc.) because a common noun or verb, you lose your rights to the trademark.

As mentioned in the article, Google has also fought against "to google" being a verb meaning "to search online", even though at first glance it seems like a huge win for them for their name to synonymous with online searching.

Reply Score: 10

RE: Generic Trademark
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 26th Mar 2013 17:21 in reply to "Generic Trademark"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:

Ungoogleable has both a suffix and affix, changing the word substantially from Google's trademark. On top of that, it is none of the Language Council's concern what Google wants to protect or not. Google is free to spout nonsense, but the Swedes shouldn't have caved in.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Generic Trademark
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 26th Mar 2013 17:36 in reply to "RE: Generic Trademark"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:

I disagree that its substantially different from Google's trademark, but that isn't even the real issue as far as I am concerned.

Language Council? *That* is the body telling everyone what words people can and cannot use. Languages should be defined by the speakers, which means that new words will arise and fall, grammar will change. Having a language defined by any other means is a Sisyphean task.

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[2]: Generic Trademark
by Sauron on Wed 27th Mar 2013 07:52 in reply to "RE: Generic Trademark"
Sauron Member since:

Lets hope that every Swedish citizen freely uses the word anyway and f**k Google.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Generic Trademark
by Laurence on Wed 27th Mar 2013 09:35 in reply to "RE: Generic Trademark"
Laurence Member since:

Let's be clear, the issue you have a problem with is trademark law.

Clearly, being a writer yourself, this is a topic close to your heart, but I think you're letting your corporate-paranoia and profession cloud your judgment here. That is, unless you honestly believe that governments have the right to abuse internationally recognised trademarks just for the sake of adding one arbitrary word to a list that nobody apart from writers take seriously?

If this had been a government stepping in and preventing a company from using a specific word as a trademark, then you'd be the first to complain about censorship, yet that's what this amounts to in the long run (thanks to the weird way how trademark law operates).

Reply Parent Score: 2