Google clashes with Sweden over ‘ungoogleable’

STOCKHOLM — Sweden’s language watchdog accused Google of trying to control the Swedish language in a dispute over the definition of the colloquial term ‘‘ungoogleable.’’

The Swedish version of the word — ‘‘ogooglebar’’ — made the Language Council of Sweden’s 2012 list of words that aren’t in the dictionary but have entered common parlance. The council defines it as something ‘‘that cannot be found on the Web with a search engine.’’


Google objected, asking for changes showing the expression specifically refers to Google searches and a disclaimer saying Google is a registered trademark.

Rather than change the definition, the council deleted the word from the list, while stressing ‘‘our displeasure with Google’s attempts to control the language.’’

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Google refrained from commenting directly.

‘‘While Google, like many businesses, takes routine steps to protect our trademarks, we are pleased that users connect the Google name with great search results,’’ spokesman Gustaf Brusewitz said.

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