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Old October 3rd 05, 05:15 PM
David Littlewood
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In article , Jeremy Nixon
Chris Brown wrote:

(I'm sure the folks at the Hoover company wouldn't be too
happy about it, either.)

On the contrary, I believe they are entirely happy with the word "hoover"
having come to be a generic term for vacuum cleaner, and the currency of the
associated verb. Indeed, AIUI they positively encouraged the use.

Odd. Companies tend to fight that sort of thing tooth and nail, since they
lose trademark protection otherwise.

I understand there's a near parallel in American English with "kleenex"
(although there's no associated verb).

Yes. But no one pretends it's actually correct. We have "xerox" as well.

"Biro" is another example, at least in the UK.

Or for something more modern, and with more international currency, try "to
google" - much more managable than "to search the Internet".

I really hope that one never makes it past pop-culture slang.

I believe it's in the OED.

It is not. It has made it into the New Oxford American Dictionary and the
Oxford Dictionary of English (2nd Edition), but not, thus far, the OED itself.

It is worth noting, in that case, that the word "google" actually has
another meaning, one that has almost certainly already been destroyed
beyond hope of recovery.

If you're thinking of 10^100 then you're wrong, that's a googol. The name of
the search engine is a pun on that.

No, I'm thinking of "google", to wit:

google, v. Cricket. intr. Of the ball: to have a 'googly' break and swerve.
Of the bowler; to bowl a googly or googlies; also (trans.), to give a googly
break to (a ball). Hence googler, a googly bowler.

Which *is* in the OED. The usage predates the Internet search engine by
some 90 years.

Being English, and having gone to a cricketing school, I know about
googlies (even if I could never bowl them). I have however never, ever,
heard the term "google" in that context. If you say it's in the OED,
fine. It's not in the Concise Oxford in my office, but it is mentioned
as an "also..." in Chambers. Probably never been used in real life since
WG Grace hung up his bat.

David Littlewood