BBC News – Google gets ungoogleable off Sweden’s new word list

26 03 2013

Yegods! Google, it seems are not content with their brand entering the language as a verb (I googled it, I was googling local pubs, …) and inherently gaining for free all the various tenses and foibles of a verb. They are now dictating to Swedish people exactly under which circumstances they may utter the word: BBC News – Google gets ungoogleable off Sweden’s new word list.

Though it is OK by them “to google something” (despite perhaps using Bing – or even AltaVista if you’re old school – to actually do it), it seems they can’t countenance that ungoogleable could mean “something that cannot be found with any search engine”. To avoid a fight, the Swedes simply removed the word from their list of new words.

Er, sorry Google, but language isn’t like that! Particularly English (though this was a Swedish issue, to be strict, ogooglebar was the offending string of letters). Unless we live in Winston Smith‘s version of 1984 (or perhaps – France), the language is naturally morphing continuously. A living thing of the people. If it wasn’t, we’d still be using thee and thou. (OK – they do still use thee and thou in Yorkshire, but that’s another story.)

Just to prove the point, here are Google’s own counts of web pages using the word, as of a few minutes ago. Seems the people have spoken (or at least googled…) Ironically, it’s a lot more used in its Swedish form… kind of proving that it should have been on the list of new words after all!

Count of ogooglebar hits on 26th March 2013

Count of ogooglebar hits on 26th March 2013

Count of ungoogleable hits on 26th March 2013

Count of ungoogleable hits on 26th March 2013

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