Google take action against the Swedish language

27 March 2013

Google hate the Swedish language. Why? Well, until last week, Sweden had the word 'ogooglebar', which means "ungoogleable". Basically, The Language Council of Sweden added some new words to their lexicon and wanted something that meant "something that cannot be found on the web using a search engine" and Google don't like that one bit.

For the record, other words added were 'emoji' (those annoying new emoticons that everyone is using), 'conversesjukan' (bad posture caused by wearing fashionable trainers) and 'drinkorexi' (an eating disorder which means replacing food with alcohol).

Those wacky Swedes!

Either way, Google's lawyers don't share Sweden's sense of humour and told them that they didn't want their trademark being diluted by being applied to all internet searching (never did Hoover any harm) and asked that the definition be changed to "something that cannot be found on the web using Google".

The Swedes told Google to sling it and dropped the word entirely, saying: "Google asked the Language Council to amend the definition of the word. Today we instead are deleting the word, marking our displeasure with Google's attempts to control the language."

"One purpose of the neologisms list is to show how society and language development interact with each other. Google wanted to amend the definition and add a disclaimer about its trademark. The Language Council has tried to explain the purpose of the list. We do not deviate from our basic approach to language … The definition the Language Council provides has been formulated based on how the word is used in Swedish."

"We have neither the time nor the inclination to pursue the lengthy process that Google is trying to start. Nor will we compromise and change the meaning of ogooglebar to what the company wants."

A Google representative said: "While Google, like many businesses, takes routine steps to protect our trademarks, we are pleased that users connect the Google name with great search results."

Bloody spoilsports.

TOPICS:   Technology   Travel

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