Tue, May 21, 2013 - Page 10 News List

Ogooglebar! Sweden’s spat with Google inspires ‘ungoogleable’ fun

The web search engine Google is shown on a tablet in Rennes, France on May 13.

Photo: AFP

Objections from Google have forced the removal of the word “ungoogleable” from a list of new Swedish words, the Language Council of Sweden says.

The language watchdog defines “ungoogleable,” or “ogooglebar” in Swedish, as something that cannot be found with any search engine, but Google wanted the meaning to relate only to Google searches.

The council, worried at the prospect of a lengthy legal battle and balking at the idea of changing the word’s definition, removed it from the list.

News of the disagreement nevertheless created what the Swedish call a “Bloggbavning” — in English: a blogquake, or “the process by which a topic explodes in the blogosphere and is then picked up by more mainstream media outlets,” according to The Atlantic.

Many search engine users are “googling the ungoogleable” following the lexical skirmish.

Swedish author and historian Peter Englund argued that Google has shot itself in the foot.

“There is no large company that owns the Swedish language, it is owned only by the users, and it is created by users,” he stated in Swedish.(Liberty Times)










1. spat n.

小爭吵;鬥嘴 (xiao3 zheng1 chao3; dou4 zui3)

例: The spat between the couple has gotten out of control.


2. balk v.

拒絕做某事 (ju4 jue2 zuo4 mo3 shi4)

例: The commander balked at the idea of surrender.


3. shoot oneself in the foot v. phr.

自找麻煩 (zi4 zhao3 ma2 fan2)

例: You just shot yourself in the foot by saying too much to the police.


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