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.
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.
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.
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”.