Policy & Law
The Language Council of Sweden has dropped the term "ungoogleable" from its list of new words, following pressure from Google to adapt its definition to something more flattering for the company. According to Sveriges Radio, Google wanted the meaning of the term ogooglebar — which describes something "that you can't find on the web with the use of a search engine" — to be altered so that it would only describe searches performed using Google's own search, something that the Language Council was not willing to do.
Language Council head Ann Cederberg said engaging Google's lawyers took "too much time and resources," prompting it to remove the phrase from its 2012 list of new words. But that won't be the last you hear of it. Cederberg is well aware that "ungoogleable" is already a popular word in Sweden, and Google will not be able to stop locals from using it. It's an unfortunate position for Google to be in; despite wanting to become the brand most associated with web searching, the company has fought to protect its name so that it can avoid it becoming a generic trademark, something that zipper, escalator, and aspirin have all fallen foul of.
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