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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RE[4]: Generic Trademark
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 26th Mar 2013 17:57 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Generic Trademark"
Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:
2006-07-14

Then what does it matter what the language council decides?

Edit: I'm more familiar with the French equivalent which as far as I know, tries to define what French is rather than just documenting convention.

Edited 2013-03-26 17:59 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[5]: Generic Trademark
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 26th Mar 2013 18:01 in reply to "RE[4]: Generic Trademark"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Then what does it matter what the language council decides?


Because it acts as a record of the evolving nature of a language. A history book of language, if you will. You may not find that important, but someone like me, who earns his living with language and has studied it all his life, this is of great importance.

A corporation should not be able to dictate such a history book.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[6]: Generic Trademark
by OzzyLondon on Tue 26th Mar 2013 18:17 in reply to "RE[5]: Generic Trademark"
OzzyLondon Member since:
2011-11-18

I think they should be able to if it is, or is similar to, the very name they trade under.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: Generic Trademark
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 26th Mar 2013 19:41 in reply to "RE[5]: Generic Trademark"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Yeah, I'm not nearly into spoken languages as you are. I think what you're complaining about is the devaluing of the importance and relevance of the "official history" of the language. That kind of makes sense.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: Generic Trademark
by vocivus on Tue 26th Mar 2013 19:55 in reply to "RE[5]: Generic Trademark"
vocivus Member since:
2010-03-13

If it does what Google tells it to, it doesn't act like a record, it claims to act like a record. The fault is the council's.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: Generic Trademark
by TechGeek on Tue 26th Mar 2013 22:56 in reply to "RE[5]: Generic Trademark"
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

"Then what does it matter what the language council decides?


Because it acts as a record of the evolving nature of a language. A history book of language, if you will. You may not find that important, but someone like me, who earns his living with language and has studied it all his life, this is of great importance.

A corporation should not be able to dictate such a history book.
"

Thom, you said it yourself. The council made the decision, not Google. Google just voiced an objection. What Google actually wanted was for the meaning to be unsearchable on Google, which kind of makes sense. In the end, it was the council's choice to just drop the matter.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[6]: Generic Trademark
by oskeladden on Wed 27th Mar 2013 01:26 in reply to "RE[5]: Generic Trademark"
oskeladden Member since:
2009-08-05

A corporation should not be able to dictate such a history book.


The point the Swedish Language Council made in their comment on this is that anyone searching for the word 'ogooglebar' will find the meaning Google doesn't like, as well as commentary about the controversy. That would seem to serve the purpose.

Here's a quick, rough and ready translation of the crucial three paragraphs of their statement:

We have neither the time nor the desire to pursue the drawn-out process Google is trying to start. Nor do we want to compromise and change the definition of 'ogooglebar' to the one the company wants. That would go against our principles, and the principles of the language. Google has forgotten one thing: a language's development does not care about trademark rights.

No single person makes decisions about language. Anyone who in future googles about 'ogooglebar' will find not just the formulation Google wanted to change, and which will remain online even though the Language Council has altered the list. Anyone who searches will also find the commentary that will follow once the news that the word has been removed spreads. That is how the world of the internet works.

Who makes decisions in relation to a language? Us, the users of the language. We, jointly, decide what words will exist and how they will be defined, used and written. A language is a result of an ongoing, democratic process. We all participate in deciding which words become part of our language by choosing the words we use. If we want 'ogooglebar' in our language, then we will use the word, and it is our usage that is decisive - not the coercion of a multinational company. Words are free!


The full statement (in Swedish) is here:
http://www.sprakradet.se/15922

Reply Parent Score: 5