Use Google But Don’t Google Asks Google Trademark Police

Google’s trademark lawyer has been busy apparently. The search engine is keen for people to use Google, but not to ‘google’ something. The search engine took offense at a comment in the Washington Post describing the word ‘google’ as moving beyond a specific product to becoming a descriptor of an entire sector. Google thinks that this is “genericide” and should be avoided.

According to the (hand addressed) letter sent to the Washington Post Google has come up with some examples or suggestions to linguistically aid us in the future. What is appropriate is “He ego-surfs on the Google search engine to see if he’s listed in the results.”, and inappropriate language is “He googles himself.” The example that has given rise to much mirth however is that it is appropriate to use “I ran a Google search to check out that guy from the party”, and inappropriate is “I googled that hottie.”

So now we know, and it simply remains for me to ego-surf on the Google search engine to see if I’m considered a hottie.

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