Column Date 2012-10-30

GOOGLE BUYS 19 DICTIONARIES; NOW OWNS ALL ENGLISH WORDS

GOOGLE BUYS 19 DICTIONARIES; NOW OWNS ALL ENGLISH WORDS

 
(Mountain View, CA) Google, Inc. announced today that it had bought nineteen leading dictionaries, including the Oxford English Dictionary, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, and the American Heritage Dictionary.

A spokesperson said that “Google now has the power to define any word in the English language in any way we choose.”

“This,” added the corporation’s head legal counsel, “gives us de facto ownership of the entire English vocabulary, and all sentences subsequently formed.”

Google officials did not elaborate on how they would use their new ownership of words, and reporters did not ask questions, fearful they would be charged for using words that are now Google’s property.

“I think it’s just another profit center,” said one critic, “and all they really want to do is sell key words and phrases like ‘SALE,’ ‘DISCOUNT’ and ‘LOWEST PRICES ON THE WEB’ to major advertisers.”

Shortly after the meeting, an anonymous member of the Writers Guild of America blogged: “No words can express how angry I am at Google.”

 

(c) 2012  Peter Tannen