Should the word "Google" be capitalised when using it as a verb?

Hi everyone,

I just wrote “I googled that” in another thread, and it occurred to me to wonder whether it should be capitalised or not. Obviously “Google” is a proper noun, but now that it has been thoroughly verbed, is the capital G necessary in the context above?

I’m not a grammar maven. Logic would suggest it retains the capital, I suppose, but it looked wrong on the page.

As a demanding user of the language, I say no.

And, BTW, I am the official advocate of spelling it “gogol.”

As a former copy editor. I agree. Capitalize it as a noun, lower case as a verb.

Gogol is a Russian playwright. Googol is 10 to the 100th power. Google is the name of the search engine/company. Despite that the name was inspired by googol, the name is Google and clearly the verb “googling” comes from the search engine.

Well, I’d insist on spelling it “kafka” but no one would get that.

Gogol I said, and gogol I meant. Anyone who’s read his work should understand why.

The only compelling similarity between Google and Gogol is that they’re both overrated. :cool:

I don’t capitalize “google” the verb any more than I capitalize “xerox” the verb. I don’t imagine “hoover” the verb (in England et. al.) is capitalized either.

You capitalize it, you’re explicitly invoking the trademark. You don’t capitalize it, and you deny the trademark. Genericide for the win.

Yer alls rong!

10[sup]100[/sup] isn’t a gogol and it isn’t a google either. It’s a googol!

The big search engine company got it’s name spelled the way it is because somebody couldn’t spel it rite. It was supposed to be Googol. Wikipedia says:

Footnote [4], in the above Wikipedia excerpt, is here.

Here’s a thought, for comparison: When a proper noun is adjectived, it generally remains capitalized, e.g., words like American or British.

Why should we not do the same when a proper noun is verbed? In a case like Google, is it because of copyright or trademark concerns? Or maybe people just don’t want to give Google no respect.

As I said back in post #4

No, it simply because the use is genericized and no longer has a direct connection to the original. You xexox a document or use a kleenix to blow your nose or take an aspirin, no matter what brand you are currently using. It’s true that many people still use the Google search engine when they google, but they don’t have to. The act is the same if you use Bing.

And there was a cartoon character Barney Google from about 1919-1950. I often wondered if Larry Page and Sergey Brin knew there product had the same name as a ne’er-do-well involved in poker, horse racing and prize fights..

I think those are the Chinese knockoff versions…

When I do generic, I do generic.

The “hoover” analogy works for me. I always found it just slightly interesting that the verb is mostly used in the UK and (?)Ireland, when it’s the name of an American company.

This is on behalf of Nikolai Gogol: If you wrote Google in Cyrillic you’d get: Гугл - which, re-romanized, spells Gugl. Or you could cyrillicize googol and get гугол, i.e. gugol. Which in Russian would be pronounced /guːgʌl/ “GOO-gull”, pretty much the same as English pronunciation.

Back to the origins of Google as the name of the search engine company: According to the above-cited wiki page, Kasner’s nephew suggested Google as the name for the big number, named after Barney Google the popular cartoon character. Kasner chose to spell it “googol” (for reasons not mentioned in the Wiki – possibly fear of trademark infringement?)

The wiki goes on to mention that Page and Brin, in choosing the spelling Google, did so deliberately, thus bringing the spelling “full circle” back to the name of the original comic character. This contradicts the story given in one of my links (here it is again) which seems to say that a third founder of Google chose that spelling, and that it was a mistake for the intended spelling “googol”.

Thanks everyone. Non-capitalised it is.

By way of thanks, have an appropriate Calvin and Hobbes cartoon.