'Google' becomes an official verb
After several years of being used increasingly often as a synonym for
online search, "Google" has now
made it as a full-fledged verb in the latest update to the
Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary. The definition can already be viewed
online and reads, "to use the Google search engine to obtain
information about (as a person) on the World Wide Web." Along with
Google, Merriam-Webster also added spyware
("software that is installed in a computer without the user's knowledge
and transmits information about the user's computer activities over the
Internet"), and mouse
potato ("slang : a person who spends a great deal of time using a
computer") in the new update.
While few brand names become popular enough to find their way into the
dictionary, Google fears its name could join the ranks of Xerox or
Kleenex and become a generic term. On page 40 of its 2005
Annual Report, the company said common use of the term "Google"
could cause it to lose protection for the trademark, thereby allowing
other companies to associate the term with their products.