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7/7/2006
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'Googling' Lands In Dictionary

Merriam-Webster on Thursday stamped its approval on a raft of words that will appear in its next dictionary update, including the verb "google" and other tech terms such as "spyware" and "mouse potato."

google): (transitive verb) To use the Google search engine to obtain information about (as a person) on the World Wide Web

Merriam-Webster on Thursday stamped its approval on a raft of words that will appear in its next dictionary update, including the technology-related "google," "spyware," and "mouse potato."

The words will show in the 11th edition of the "Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary," scheduled for publication later this year according to the dictionary maker, but are already included in its online dictionary.

Google predicted its trademarked name would join Xerox, Kleenex, and Coke in common usage in its 2005 annual report.

"There is a risk that the word 'Google' could become so commonly used that it becomes synonymous with the word 'search,'" the report noted. "We could lose protection for this trademark, which could result in other people using the word 'Google' to refer to their own products, thus diminishing our brand.''

Other technology-related words to debut in the 11th edition include "spyware" (software that is installed in a computer without the user's knowledge and transmits information about the user's computer activities over the Internet) and "mouse potato" (a person who spends a great deal of time using a computer).

In all, Merriam-Webster plans to add nearly 100 new entries to its dictionary.

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