In the land of the verbs, Google is king
A Calvin and Hobbes strip once concluded that “Verbing weirds language”. I would disagree. Since the advent of the digital age, it seems to be an indicator of success and popularity.
Many common actions have moved from the realm of noun to verb. “Access” used to be a noun which was granted or gained, now it is the action of using this access granted. Alt-Tabbing, bookmarking, Ctrl-Alt-Deleting and blacklisting all have become such common tasks that they are listed in dictionaries as verbs as well as nouns. Where a person used to send a text message, they now “text”, “message” or “IM” their friends. “Verb” is itself a victim of this phenomenon.
Proper nouns are not exempt from the verbing spree. It is so common for websites to crash when featured on the tech news website Slashdot that being “slashdotted” has become a true test of the robustness of a web server. When something is “digged” it is not a misspelling, nor does it have anything to do with a shovel. Rather, it has been featured on digg.com. Facebook and MySpace are so integrated in certain segments of society that the terms “facebook me” and “myspace me” are not uncommon. One of the biggest victim of this trend is Google, who seems reluctant about the appropriation of their name as a general verb, but even they seem to be getting in on the action with google.it.
Perhaps this is the true test of success in the digital era. That something like YouTube can become a part of the general lexicon after only a year seems to be an indication that they have found their niche. Google has become so large that in mid 2005, “google” ecclipsed “search” in popularity. So bring on the verbs!