April 18, 2006

verbspotting by others

in their latest newsletter the editors of the merriam-webster dictionary state that among the words they are "giving ...serious consideration for entry in a Merriam-Webster dictionay" is the verb google:
transitive verb, often capitalized [Google, trademark for a search engine]: to use the Google search engine to obtain information about (as a person) on the World Wide Web
it wouldn't have occured to me that google is not in a dictionary yet. so i checked the online edition of the oxford english dictionary. lo and behold, it has the verb to google, but it's intransitive, and it is not related to internet searches at all:
Of the ball: to have a ‘googly’ break and swerve. Of the bowler; to bowl a googly or googlies; also to give a googly break to (a ball).
in case you are wondering -- the company name "Google" goes back to "Googol", a "fanciful name (not in formal use) for ten raised to the hundredth power" (OED).

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