The search engine company, which tries to affect an air of youthful nonconformity, legally admonished the Washington Post for using the word “google” as a generic verb to describe Internet search in general.

  • Online expert Steve Rubel calls it “one of the worst PR moves in history.”

    Washington Post:

    … Google, evidently, took offense to this passage in last month’s article: “Google, the word, now takes its place alongside the handful of proper nouns that have moved beyond a particular product to become descriptors of an entire sector — generic trademarks.”

    This characterization of Google, the letter warned, is “genericide” and should be avoided. Such letters are cranked out every day by companies keen on protecting their trademarks. Wham-O Inc. wants writers to eschew “Frisbee” for “plastic flying disc,” for instance. I’ll note that in my Palm. Excuse me — my “personal digital assistant.”

    Google, however, goes the extra mile and provides a helpful list of appropriate and inappropriate uses of its name. To show how hip and down with the kids Google is, the company gets a little wacky with its examples. Here’s one:

    “Appropriate: He ego-surfs on the Google search engine to see if he’s listed in the results.

    Inappropriate: I googled that hottie.”

    Link

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