To google

26 Şub


Listen to Professor Crystal
To google

To google – as a verb. Of course, everybody’s heard of Google the search engine – popular development of the 1990s. In fact, in 1999, Google was designated the most useful word by the American Dialect Society, as a verb! ‘I’m going to google.’ ‘We are googling.’ And, of course, there’s all sorts of associated words that have come since – you know, ‘we are googlers, if we google!’ And people who google a lot are ‘google-minded’, and I suppose there are lots of other coinages too.

The word itself comes from a mathematical term, ‘googol’, a term meaning 10 to the 100th power, an impossibly large concept, indeed. And, of course, the Google search engine has also become impossibly large! When you go searching for a word on Google, you might get a million hits, or 10 million hits, or a hundred million hits.

Of course, the penalty of success is when you have a word enter the language and it was originally a word that you thought you owned. In fact, the firm Google is very concerned over this use as a verb, because it is their trade mark – they like to keep the capital letter in the definition, for example – if you use it, they say, do use it with a capital ‘G’. But they’ve got a problem, I mean, no firm, no matter how big, can control language change!

They’re not the first firm to be worried about this sort of thing. Xerox, once upon a time, was very worried about the way their name had become part of the language as a whole, you know, ‘I’m going to xerox something’, meaning – I’m going to photocopy something. And Hoover was another one, you know, it now means any sort of vacuum cleaner. Of course, Hoover is a particular brand of vacuum cleaner. So Google are a bit worried about this use of their name as a verb, but they won’t be able to stop it. As I say, no firm, no matter how big, can control language change.

8a / 8b



1)   ‘Google’ is a noun – the name of a company and a search engine – and a verb. Look at the words in the box. Which ones are both nouns and verbs, which ones have a different form for the noun? Sort them into the two boxes [A and B] and give the noun form if it is different.

İnform        damage              shop      educate               interest               entertain            choose                 interview         wait       witness                lose       structure             solve     select    close     stay


A noun and verb have the same form

B noun and verb have different forms

2)   Put the correct form of the words in box A in the sentences below.

  1. The police are looking for any ________ to the crime.
  2. Cars have been ________ the environment for over a hundred years.
  3. I prefer not to _______ in supermarkets, I go to local stores instead.
  4. He’s a TV presenter. He ________ film stars about their lives and careers.
  5. He said that my essay has got a good _______ but the grammar is poor.
  6. So tell me about your free time, what _______ do you have?
  7. Sorry, the traffic was terrible. Have you been _______ long?
  8. How long did she ________ at her friend’s house?

Okuma parçası, egzersizler ve dinleme dosyası BBC Learning English kaynaklıdır.