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  1. #1
    Eureka is offline Junior Member
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    Smile Does this sound O.K. or odd? "John googled his high school alumni on Yahoo"

    Hi teachers!

    I'm doing a research about noun to verb conversion. I need some help. Do you think the sentence below sound natural or awkward?

    "John googled his high school alumni on Yahoo."

    As most of you know, "Google" is proepr noun representing a brand name of search engine and now it is commonly used as a verb refferring to searching for information on in English.

    My point is that if the sentence is correct, the verb 'google' can have the meaning "search information" losing its specfic sense "google". If not, it can only be used in the context "search the information with google".

    I want you to know what you think about the sentence in terms of native speakers. Please hep.

    Thnaks millions in advance. Have a nice day!

  2. #2
    Rover_KE is online now Moderator
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    Default Re: Does this sound O.K. or odd? "John googled his high school alumni on Yahoo"

    Yes, it's odd.

    Just as it would sound odd to say 'John Yahood his high school alumni on Google'.

    Stick with "John googled his high school alumni."

    Rover

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Does this sound O.K. or odd? "John googled his high school alumni on Yahoo"

    I agree. I don't think "to Google" has yet become simply a term for "search the internet". I personally believe it still means to search specifically using the Google search engine.

    He searched for his high school alumni on the net.
    He searched the net for his high school alumni.
    He Googled his high school alumni.

  4. #4
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    konungursvia is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Does this sound O.K. or odd? "John googled his high school alumni on Yahoo"

    I think google has become a general verb meaning to search online. But it is odd if juxtaposed with another competing company or logically incompatible object. It's like hoovering your living room with a broom, buying generic kleenex, shopping for no-name pablum, distrusting gilettes made by schick, etc....

  5. #5
    Eureka is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Does this sound O.K. or odd? "John googled his high school alumni on Yahoo"

    Thank you for your post with easy-to-follow examples. It' REALLY hepful.

    I have a question about what you mentioned. You said "google" has become a general verb.

    Ex) I googled my high school alumni.

    To me, the example above is confusing as a non-native speaker. I think it's ambiguous. When you see it, which meaning comes to your mind first between 1) to seach online 2) to seach online with google. (I'm also wondering a majority of native speakers which one choose.)

    In my view, if you choose the former, 'goggle' can be a general verb. however, simultaneously, such an interpretation involves the possibility of searching with any types of search engines.

    In other words, there is no reason for the general verb 'google' to be blocked by any type of search engines becuase its orginal sense is lost. For that reason, google can not be a general verb. Rather 'Goggle" is in the middle of process being a general verb.

    What do you think?

    If I interrupt you, I'm sorry. Have a nice day.


    Regards
    Eureka

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Does this sound O.K. or odd? "John googled his high school alumni on Yahoo"

    Well, among native speakers, if you say you googled something, no one cares if you actually used google.com or some other site, as long as you found what you needed.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Does this sound O.K. or odd? "John googled his high school alumni on Yahoo"

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    Well, among native speakers, if you say you googled something, no one cares if you actually used google.com or some other site, as long as you found what you needed.
    I totally agree. I don't care at all what search engine you used. You looked for something online -- that's all I need to know.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  8. #8
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Does this sound O.K. or odd? "John googled his high school alumni on Yahoo"

    I agree with Konungursvia that the verb has become a general term for searching on the web. Google were objecting to its inclusion in a dictionary as a verb a couple of years ago, presumably to protect their brand and trademarks.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Does this sound O.K. or odd? "John googled his high school alumni on Yahoo"

    Google and Yahoo are two different companies and are competitive businesses. Google is primarily a search engine, while Yahoo is more like an updated version of the old America Online (it's main page features current news stories and it also offers access to newsgroups and chat rooms). If you found a friend while browsing on Yahoo you would phrase it just that way: "John searched for his high school alumni on Yahoo." If you want to convey that you searched online for a friend, it has become common practice to use Google as a verb no matter what search enging you use, however, if you do use Google as the verb then you should not mention any other web portal in the same statement (such as Yahoo, Excite, Dogpile, etc.) Saying "I Googled him on Yahoo" sounds just as confusing and awkward as saying "I bought a Big Mac at Wendy's."

  10. #10
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    Thumbs up Re: Does this sound O.K. or odd? "John googled his high school alumni on Yahoo"

    That morphological phenomenon is called 'conversion', through which the function of a word is changed: they up the prices.
    Using the verb in general (to search online) is yet another phenomenon referred to as 'extension'.
    So, linguistically it's acceptable.

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