Planet GOOG

Google Got in a Fight with Sweden Over The Word ‘Ungoogleable’

The search giant made the Swedes angry over "ogooglebar."
Found with the assistance of Google.

Found with the assistance of Google.

These big tech companies really do think of themselves as nations unto themselves, don’t they? For example: Google. Even as chairman Eric Schmidt jets around the world, lecturing nations on the benefits of a free and open Internet, the team back home is pressuring Sweden.

What on Earth could the Swedes have done to piss off Planet GOOG?

Every year, the Swedish Language Council comes out with a list of new words, recently adopted by native speakers. The Local reports that this year’s roundup included the noun “ogooglebar,” defined as something “that you can’t find on the web with the use of a search engine.”

Google apparently objected to its name being used to describe the generic act of searching online and asked that the Council alter the definition so the word describes the specific act of using Google. Cue mild international incident:

“Instead, we’re removing the word today and stating our displeasure with Google’s attempt to control the language,” Language Council head Ann Cederberg said in a statement.

Ms. Cederberg added: “If we want to have ogooglebar in the language, then we’ll use the word and it’s our use that gives it meaning – not a multinational company exerting pressure. Speech must be free!”

We await the obnoxious, attention-seeking response from Bing.

(h/t the Verge)

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com