• Sweden edition
 
Sweden axes new word after Google intervenes

Sweden axes new word after Google intervenes

Published: 26 Mar 2013 10:21 GMT+01:00
Updated: 26 Mar 2013 11:53 GMT+01:00

In December, the council unveiled its customary annual list of new Swedish words. Among the words that Swedes had begun using in 2012 was "ogooglebar" ('ungoogleable').

The California-based multinational soon got into a huff, asking the council to amend its definition. But the language experts refused to bow down to the demands, instead choosing a third option - removing the term altogether.

"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.

The word was to be used to describe something "that you can't find on the web with the use of a search engine", according to the Language Council.

SEE ALSO: Top ten new Swedish words of 2012

However, Google was less than thrilled that a word based on its name had been highlighted by Sweden's "official language cultivation body".

Google wanted the council to specify that the word's definition only covered searches performed using Google, and not searches involving other search engines.

SEE ALSO: Ten Swedish words you won’t find in English

The move marks the first time the Language Council has removed a word from its annual list, but the Swedish wordsmiths don't think the word's removal means it should be removed from the language itself.

"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!" Cederberg said.

According to Cederberg, the Language Council could have compromised with Google's requests, but decided to instead spark a debate.

"It would go against our principles, and the principles of language. Google has forgotten one thing: language development doesn't care about brand protection."

The Local/dl

Follow The Local on Twitter

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

09:19 March 26, 2013 by inertia666
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
09:26 March 26, 2013 by hipersons1
I can see Google's point with this even though it seems ridiculous on the outset. It comes down to trademark/copyright law. It's the same reason why Xerox ran adverts in the 80s to encourage people to call it a 'photocopy' instead of a 'Xerox' even if it comes from a machine made by Xerox. When a trademarked name becomes a common word even for similar services/product not produced by the company that holds the particular trademark, it lessens the legal strength of that trademark.
09:52 March 26, 2013 by Opinionfool
Thank god that English has no equivalent of toadying language control freaks. We google information all the time. Presumably the only thing that is ungoogleable with Google (other search engines available) is any criticism of Google and their attempts to control language as they are trying to control the world web site.
10:03 March 26, 2013 by Logic_and_Reason
In case you ever questioned the notion that corporations rule the world, when one dictates what a developed nation like Sweden can put in its own language, you know we are all screwed.
12:04 March 26, 2013 by comfreak
I think it's a bit much that Google thinks it's up to them to decide what is a word and what is not. I am pretty sure that they think "googleable" in contrast, is a word, right? So the antonym belongs in the dictionary just as much!

Google, try telling the Oxford English Dictionary to erase the word Google. If you get as much response as a gently raised middle finger, you should be lucky.
12:08 March 26, 2013 by johan rebel
They removed the word to state their displeasure?

Sounds more like a bunch of yellow cowards to me.
14:05 March 26, 2013 by sparc
@johan rebel: Actually I agree with the council that maybe removing was the best choice, all things considered.

A definition constraints the use to a certain set of bounds and allows one to say "You are using this the wrong way". Google could have started a whole issue, trying to indirectly alter the definition even if the council disagreed. For one, google translate is used by a huge amount of people as a dictionary; simply by setting source and target languages the same.

Removing the definition allows the word to exist and evolve naturally without control and definitive influence. No one can dictate its use if there is no formal definition. It means what the majority wants it to be.
15:50 March 26, 2013 by jporinchak
Speaking as a US trademark attorney, I think you Swedes are dilutional.
17:17 March 26, 2013 by Rishonim
Ann Cederberg; Who's your daddy?
20:42 March 26, 2013 by Opinionfool
@comfreak

Glad you suggest the OED. One of the earliest citation to Google as a verb is from ... wait for it ... be patient ... Larry Page! He did that on July 8 1998 in an egroups mailing. Why then if it's good enough for Page shouldn't the rest of the world use it too.
Today's headlines
Interview
'The concept of race is a slippery slope': Ullenhag
Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

'The concept of race is a slippery slope': Ullenhag

Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag tells The Local why he plans to remove the term "race" from all Swedish law, how he responds to his critics, and why Sweden must steer clear of xenophobia. READ  

Sweden's tourism figures on the rise for 2014

Sweden's tourism figures on the rise for 2014

Tourism in Sweden is on the rise, with the first half of 2014 seeing a boom in visiting figures for both domestic and foreign tourists. READ  

Northern Dispatches
How I tackled northern Sweden's savage insects

How I tackled northern Sweden's savage insects

Ex-Londoner Paul Connolly has just survived a northern Sweden heat wave. But it wasn't the high temperatures that were the real problem, he recounts. READ  

What's On in Sweden - Pride Parade

What's On in Sweden - Pride Parade

Saturday marks the Stockholm Pride Parade, the biggest event of Pride Week (and the biggest Pride Parade in Scandinavia). Here's what to see and where to be, as well as plenty of other activities in Sweden's three biggest cities for the weekend. READ  

Railway fatalaties on the rise in Sweden
File photo: Carl Dougge/Flickr

Railway fatalaties on the rise in Sweden

Even though Sweden's Traffic Agency has drastic plans to reduce the number of people killed by trains in Sweden, a new report shows that figures are on the rise. READ  

Woman finds Ikea bags stuffed with 80 skeletons

Woman finds Ikea bags stuffed with 80 skeletons

UPDATED: A woman in southern Sweden is furious after stumbling upon scores of skulls and human bones inside Ikea bags in a church. The man who dug up the bones, however, says it's not as bad as it looks. READ  

Swedish Wikipedia jumps to second biggest

Swedish Wikipedia jumps to second biggest

There are now more Swedish Wikipedia entries than any other language in the world, besides English. And there's one Swede who's largely responsible. READ  

Assault with iron pipe 'no hate crime': police
The aftermath of the attack in Seved, Malmö on July 6th 2014. Drago Prvulovic / TT

Assault with iron pipe 'no hate crime': police

Police in southern Sweden have concluded that a man who was beaten with an iron pipe for hanging an Israeli flag in his window was not a victim of a hate crime. READ  

AstraZeneca hikes earnings outlook
Photo: Claus Gertsen/TT

AstraZeneca hikes earnings outlook

After fighting off a fierce takeover bid from Pfizer, Swedish-British drugmaker AstraZeneca raised its 2014 earnings outlook and posted rising second quarter sales on Thursday. READ  

Race to be scrapped from Swedish legislation
Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag meets children in Husby, Stockholm. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Race to be scrapped from Swedish legislation

The Swedish government announced that it plans to remove all mentions of race from Swedish legislation, saying that race is a social construct which should not be encouraged in law. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
Stockholm demonstration against Israel
National
Stockholm Pride bars Sweden Democrats
National
Gender neutral pronoun 'hen' enters dictionary
Society
Top ten cafes in Stockholm
People-watching
Gallery
People-watching - Stockholm Pride
Blog updates

31 July

Calling a speedo a speedo (Blogweiser) »

"There are a lot of speedos on Europe’s beaches. Some European males are evidently more comfortable sporting small, stretchy suits on public beaches than I would be. I accept it may be nice to have swimwear that’s not long and cumbersome. A speedo is maybe also good for tanning. But strolling around town in a..." READ »

 

27 July

Approaching Stockholm (Around Sweden in a kayak) »

"I woke up in the comfort of my own little cabin on Eva and Rolf’s boat, it was 7:30am and I was feeling a bit groggy after a couple of beers with all the lovely locals the night before. The previous day had really taken its toll on my body and I was very stiff and..." READ »

 
 
 
Photo: Henrik Trygg/Imagebank Sweden
Society
Sweden worst in EU at getting foreigners jobs
Lifestyle
Stockholm Pride kicks off
Analysis
The top six ways the US and Sweden differ
National
Swedish youth suicides hit 25-year high
National
Politician reported for selling 'negro ball'
National
Police turn blind eye to Swedish 'slave trade'
Gallery
Stockholm Pride: Allsång på Skansen with Conchita Wurst
Skatteverket
Sponsored Article
Introducing... ID cards and permits in Stockholm
Gallery
People-watching, June 26th - 28th. Get inside Stockholm's hottest nightclubs
Gallery
Top ten Swedish taboos
Society
Seven-year-old Swede cycles to Berlin
Politics
'Gaza conflict needs help, not empty rhetoric'
Society
Swedes voted 'most beautiful' in the Nordics
Business & Money
Sweden demands EU clarity on Bitcoin tax
National
Swedish organic sales enjoy 'amazing' growth
Gallery
People-watching July 23
National
Swedish cops elect not to shoot 'angry elks'
Business & Money
New alcohol retail rules threaten micro-breweries
Gallery
People-watching Båstad
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

747
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se