The Language Council of Sweden has made the decision to ditch the word “ungoogleable” from a list of new words after pressure from Google to alter the definition of the word so that its meaning was more flattering for the search engine supremos.
According the Sveriges Radio Google’s lawyers were pushing Sweden’s Language Council to change the meaning of the term “ogooglebar”, something they were not willing to do. In Sweden “ogooglebar” is defined as something “that you can’t find on the web with the use of a search engine” and Google wanted that amended so that it only describes searches performed with Google’s mighty engine.
The Language Council were not willing to alter this definition and did not fancy taking on Google’s expert legal team, so they made the decision to drop the word altogether.
Ann Cederberg, the Language Council’s head said that negotiating with Google’s lawyers took “too much time and resources,” and this prompted their decision to altogether remove the term from its 2012 list of new words.
So the threat from Google’s legal maestros may have won the official battle against the definition the company did not approve of, but even they don’t have the power to strike the word from the face of the planet or force people to use it in the context of which they approve. According to several sources, the word “ogooglebar” is already incredibly popular in Sweden and the act of dropping it from the list of new words is highly unlikely to have much of an impact on its use.
The whole malarkey over this word also represents something of a catch 22 for Google – they are making every effort to become the brand most commonly associated with web searching and few would argue that their efforts have been thoroughly successful. Yet they are also fighting to protect their name so that they don’t become a generic trademark like the fate that befell zipper, escalator and hoover!