• 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
Swimrun
Record win at Sweden's tough island race
Photo: Jakob Edholm/ÖTILLÖ14

Record win at Sweden's tough island race

Two Swedes crushed last year's course record at the Swimrun world championship in Stockholm's archipelago on Monday. READ  

Sweden reveals Academy Award submission
Swedish director Ruben Östlund on set. Photo. TT

Sweden reveals Academy Award submission

The movie set to represent Sweden at the 2015 Academy Awards was revealed on Monday, a film that has already won awards abroad. READ  

Amphetamines
Hidden forest drug stash leads to prosecution

Hidden forest drug stash leads to prosecution

A 53-year-old man has been prosecuted after police in western Sweden made one of their largest drug seizures in the area. READ  

Man shot dead in hunting accident
Photo: Hunter Desportes/Flickr

Man shot dead in hunting accident

UPDATED: Police in northern Sweden say a man was killed on Monday morning after what they described as a "hunting accident". READ  

Pirate Bay Swede's trial set for final stage

Pirate Bay Swede's trial set for final stage

The mother of Swedish Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg has told The Local about her son's "suffering" in jail ahead of the final stages of his trial. READ  

Suspected Ebola case ruled out in Sweden
Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Suspected Ebola case ruled out in Sweden

UPDATED: Officials at a Stockholm hospital reported that they had found a suspected case of the Ebola virus on Sunday night. But the case was dismissed on Monday. READ  

Murderer on the loose after breakout

Murderer on the loose after breakout

A 34-year-old man who killed a child is on the run after he broke out of a psychiatric ward in central Sweden. READ  

Skåne floods
Huge clear up underway after Skåne floods
A Malmö bus under water. Photo: Stig Åke Jönsson/TT

Huge clear up underway after Skåne floods

Flood waters subsided in the southern Sweden region of Skåne on Monday, after flash flooding saw chaos on roads and trains at the weekend. READ  

Elections 2014
Sweden's Alliance reveals full manifesto
Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Alliance reveals full manifesto

UPDATED: Leaders of the Moderate Party, the Centre Party, the Liberal Party and the Christian Democrats have announced their complete list of election promises in Stockholm's Nacka. READ  

Zlatan scores hat trick in PSG thrashing
Photo: AP

Zlatan scores hat trick in PSG thrashing

Champions Paris Saint-Germain thumped Saint-Etienne 5-0 as Bordeaux saw their 100 percent record at the start of the Ligue 1 season ended on Sunday with a 1-1 draw against Bastia. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Tech
Sweden's highest peak to lose title next year
Politics
How immigration became a key election issue
Society
Brit's life in Sweden becomes BBC radio show
Gallery
People-watching August 27
Gallery
Top ten false friends in Swedish
Blog updates

25 August

Hit och dit, här och där (The Swedish Teacher) »

" Hej igen! A common challenge for Swedish language students are the location adverbs hit/här, dit/där, hem/hemma etc. Some of the location adverbs come in two versions. We should use one type of location adverb when we use a verb describes where we are, and we should use the other type of location adverb when we the verb..." READ »

 

25 August

The Dollar Store (Blogweiser) »

"A dollar store in Sweden. Blog post: http://t.co/tNuuvcP1q0 #USD #greenbacks #sweden #sverige pic.twitter.com/RHFAYf7U1k — Joel Sherwood (@joeldsherwood) August 23, 2014 There’s a chain here in Sweden called The DollarStore. This name always stood out to me in a country where they don’t use dollars. I went there for the first time this weekend. They actually accepted greenbacks..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Roma advocate scoops Wallenberg prize
Society
Meet the man who made a Swedish store recall its high heels for kids
Business & Money
'How I came to run my own business in Sweden'
Politics
Expert explains why Sweden's election oozes uncertainty
National
City plays Schindler's List theme at Nazi rally
Society
For Stockholm Fashion Week, here's the A-Z of Swedish fashion
National
'Amnesiac' man avoids deportation for ten years
Gallery
Princess Estelle through the years
Business & Money
Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial
Business & Money
Five golden rules for the Swedish job hunt
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Gallery
People-watching August 22-24
National
Armed royal guards caught (very) drunk on the job
National
Sweden orders textbook on Roma discrimination
Gallery
Violent anti-Nazi demonstrations in Malmö
Society
A closer look at Sweden's five official minority languages
Gallery
See the destruction from the southern Sweden floods
Politics
'Sweden Democrats hold the key to elections'
Society
Swedes celebrate first day of smelly fish season
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
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
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